Liverpool 2-0 RB Leipzig: Respite for reds as they reach last 8 in Europe

Champions League Last 16 2nd Leg
Wednesday 10 March 2021 - 8:00 pm
Puskas Stadium, Budapest, Hungary
Liverpool2
0RB Leipzig
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⚽️ Salah70'
Jota off, Origi on ↔️72'
Alcantara off, Keïta on ↔️72'
⚽️ Mane73'
Wijnaldum off, Milner on ↔️82'
Robertson off, Tsimikas on ↔️89'
Mane off, Oxlade-Chamberlain on ↔️89'
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Liverpool put behind their domestic disappointments with another victory over RB Leipzig at the Puskas Stadium in Budapest.

The reds could get quite used to this ground, albeit the fact that coronavirus levels are far higher currently in Hungary than England - perhaps raising an eyebrow whether this was the German government, or UEFA's, finest decision.

Jurgen Klopp returned Fabinho to his midfield berth for the first time, well in months, following on from a brief sub appearance there at the weekend.  Thiago Alcantara, who has always looked more at home in Europe than in England so far, revelled in the freedom afforded by Fabinho's inclusion.  He didn't have to blindly press every ball and translated his sideways passes into more direct approached - some wonderful forward balls aimed at the three men up front.

Diogo Jota displayed his more direct approach compared to Roberto Firmino and had a number of opportunities in the first half that were kept out by the curse of Liverpool's attack.

This game played out in similar fashion to the first leg - both teams enjoying chances and playing attacking football.  But Liverpool perhaps had a little bit more steel than in the first leg - a little less haphazard in terms of defending.

It fell to Salah who eventually, broke the deadlock when good interplay, involving Thiago, Jota (twice) and Mane, allowed him to wrongfoot Peter Gulacsi in the Leipzig goal and place his left-footed shot into the corner.

With the game now firmly swung into Liverpool's favour, Klopp brought on Origi and Keita, and the Belgian forward delivered an inch perfect cross just seconds later for Sadio Mane to deftly poke into the net.  A glimpse of that Liverpool we are so used to seeing most over the past 4 years.

2-0. 4-0 on aggregate.  All over.

The smile returned to Klopp's face as he punched the air at both goals, and at the final whistle he informed his players they had been outstanding.  Perhaps stretching it in terms of the level of some performances, but on the basis of 2021 it was probably apt.

It was also another impressive clean sheet for Nat Phillips and Ozan Kabak, another game which gives confidence that Fabinho can now be returned to midfield - and Henderson too if he returns from injury this season.

The reds now await the Quarter Final draw which will take place on Friday 19th March.  Dortmund, PSG and Porto are already in the draw  The outcome of the four other ties will be settled next week.

LFC: Becker, Alexander-Arnold, Kabak, Phillips, Robertson, Wijnaldum, Fabinho, Alcantara, Salah, Mane, Jota

Subs: Adrián, Williams, Williams, Davies, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jones, Tsimikas, Shaqiri, Milner, Keïta, Origi

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