|Match Details||Match Report||Match Gallery||Head to Head|
|Champions League, Last 16 2nd Leg, Wednesday 10th March 2021|
|Liverpool||Kick Off - 20:00pm||RB Leipzig|
Half Time 0:0
|Venue - Puskas Arena||Shirt Worn - Home||Live on - BT Sports|
Liverpool secured a place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League with a 2-0 victory over RB Leipzig in Budapest on Wednesday evening.
The Reds took the lead in Hungary with 20 minutes remaining when Diogo Jota teed up Mohamed Salah, who finished smartly with a reverse shot to make it 3-0 on aggregate.
Sadio Mane doubled the advantage moments later when he tapped in from substitute Divock Origi’s delivery from the right.
It had been Salah and Mane who’d decided the first leg in Liverpool’s favour last month – and their strikes at Puskas Arena once more made sure of Liverpool’s berth in the last eight of the tournament.
Liverpool made five changes from Sunday’s defeat by Fulham, with Ozan Kabak and Trent Alexander-Arnold returning in defence. Fabinho was deployed in a midfield role, while there were also starts for Thiago Alcantara and Mane.
With COVID-19 restrictions in Germany preventing Leipzig from contesting the encounter at Anfield, Budapest’s impressive Puskas Arena served as the venue for Liverpool’s ‘home’ leg, as it had for the initial meeting three weeks earlier.
With a two-goal advantage from that first clash in the Hungarian capital, the Reds set about looking to strengthen their grip in the early stages – and but for the intervention of Lukas Klostermann, Thiago would have played Salah into a clear shooting position inside the area.
Leipzig threatened on the break with 10 minutes gone, however, but Alisson Becker produced a strong block to thwart Dani Olmo’s close-range effort after the ball had broken invitingly inside the box.
At the other end, former Liverpool ‘keeper Peter Gulacsi needed to conjure up a save of his own to thwart Jota’s powerful header from Alexander-Arnold’s corner.
Liverpool caused concern for their opponents once more on 23 minutes as Thiago’s spectacular scissored pass sent Salah speeding clear, but Gulacsi saved his attempted curler before Mane could not manage to nudge in an awkward rebound with his head.
Then, Dayot Upamecano prevented Salah from turning in a cut-back from Alexander-Arnold after Mane’s incisive pass had released the full-back into space down the right.
Tyler Adams had an effort saved by Alisson before Emil Forsberg rolled a low shot inches wide of the post for Leipzig, who showcased their threat.
As the break loomed into view, Jota bounded his way into the area before prodding at Gulacsi – and the Portugal forward should have scored in stoppage time when he poked into the side-netting after the ball had deflected across goal into his path.
Leipzig increased the pressure on Liverpool’s back line after the restart, but the Reds’ defence were standing firm.
On the occasion the Bundesliga club did fashion a chance, substitute Alexander Sorloth watched as his looped header struck the frame of the goal before Nathaniel Phillips cleared.
And their hopes of turning the tie around were dealt a blow with 20 minutes of normal time remaining.
A counter-attack saw Mane release Jota, who in turn laid the ball off to Salah. The Egyptian stepped inside Upamecano before reversing a low shot into the corner beyond Gulacsi.
Jürgen Klopp withdrew Jota and Thiago in the aftermath, sending on Naby Keita and Origi – and the latter made an instant impact.
Collecting the ball on the right, he swung a low cross across the face of goal, leaving Mane with the task of tapping in from inside the six-yard box to complete the job and send Liverpool into the quarter-finals.