Liverpool took on RB Leipzig at the Puskas Arena in Hungary for their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg on Tuesday looking to put behind them their domestic struggles and mount a continental title charge. Liverpool, whose poor domestic form has seen drop drop to 6th in the English Premier League were facing a Leipzig side who are placed 2nd in the German Bundesliga. Liverpool ran out 2-0 winners largely due to the gifts given by the Leipzig defence.
Liverpool’s early approach to the game saw them produce a very open first half as both teams tried to outfox one another. Andrew Robertson came closest to opening the scoring after Leipzig keeper, Peter Gulacsi fumbled a clearance, but Robertson couldn’t get his strike to drop appropriately into the back of the net. It was not until the second half that Liverpool went in front. Leipzig captain, Marcel Sabitzer played a blind pass aimed at Lukas Klostermann, but the ball was far behind the left back, allowing Mohamed Salah to use his pace to reach the ball before the defender and get into a one on one with the keeper, and slot it past Gulacsi in goal to make it 1-0. Five minutes later, one became two after another moment of naivety cost the German side. Curtis Jones sent a long ball upfield and Leipzig defender Nordi Mukiele was the last man in his half. He tried to slide and clear the ball but completely missed it, leaving Sadio Mane face to face with the keeper, and Mane just slid the ball under the keeper to make it 2-0. Leipzig were not clinical with their finishing as left back Angelino, midfielder Christopher Nkunku and striker, Hwang Hee-Chan were all culpable for missing key chances in the game.
Having won the away leg, Liverpool have done more than half of the job and will now look to finish off Leipzig at Anfield in three weeks’ time. Leipzig on the other hand have themselves to blame for their defeat, and have it all to do if they intend on qualifying for the next round.