The clash between Liverpool and RB Leipzig had been shifted to Budapest, Hungary due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and the Reds set foot for the Round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League after digesting three consecutive defeats in the Premier League and nevertheless jolted by the injury woes. Still, they started the campaign with a victory over the German Club courtesy of sloppiness.

The Leipzig of Julian Nagelsmann sit second in the Bundesliga, where they have emerged as the most credible challengers to Bayern Munich and they have built their game on firm defensive foundations, still, they failed to half the strugglers in the Premier League when needed.

Nagelsmann relies on high-line defence with the intent to attack at pace and utilize the most during the counter but they never looked secure, committed terrible mistakes, and lost, even though Naglesmann claimed, he had the better show on the pitch.

After the match, he said, “When you win, you’re always right, but we earned a lot of respect in the 90 minutes. We were definitely not worse and certainly not two goals worse.”

“The big difference was they scored with their two chances, we had three big chances and weren’t clinical enough. For the two big mistakes, we committed we were punished, and at such a high level that’s normal.”

Football is all about scoring goals and win the match – if you can’t do that, you end up winning hearts only.

And not only that, one can’t deny the fact, the Reds were better as well and surely deserved to win.

They have been scratchy of late, but this was a good night’s work indeed for the Premier League champions. Under pressure at home, they found the continent much more to their liking.

And, one needs to credit them for exploiting the sloppiness of Leipzig.

The first came from the midfielder, Marcel Sabitzer, who tried to play a back pass to Lukas Klostermann and he succeeded in setting Mohamed Salah clean through on goal and the Egyptian King, who was dangerous all evening, essayed a cool finish.

The second was even worse to look at, an ungainly tangle from one of the three Leipzig center-halves, Nordi Mukiele, who got himself lost under a high ball from Curtis Jones and lunged at it in an attempt to retrieve the situation. He missed completely, leaving Sadio Mane with a one-on-one. Again, the outcome was not in doubt.

The Reds might be struggling back home, but still, they are down and out and they have the players who would no exhibit any mercy for the mistakes committed on the big stage.

Leipzig started off with a lot of intent. Naglesmann’s 3-3-2-2 formation encourages the wing-backs to advance forward.

There was a nervy moment in the Liverpool penalty area – they had a let-off when Angelino crossed for Olmo at the end of a slick move and his header came back off the inside of the post. After that, the Reds settled and were able to see that passes in behind the Leipzig backline which could lead to opportunity.

Trent Alexander-Arnold set Salah away with a through ball on 15 minutes but Peter Gulacsi, was off his line to block the attempted dink. Roberto Firmino blasted into the side-netting on the second phase.

A cross from Firmino was headed higher by Mane due to pressure from Mukiele while he almost got on to a clipped Andy Robertson ball over the top. Thankfully, Gulacsi was quickly out of his area to clear. Robertson stepped up to win it back and he sent an audacious 40-yard chip over the goalkeeper.

Firmino also had the ball in the net after Mane had robbed Dayut Upamecano, who was lackluster throughout the night, to cross from the byline. The assistant referee spotted that it had narrowly gone out of play.

Leipzig produced scary moments despite trailing by 2-0 – In the 90th minute the Leipzig substitute, Hwang Hee-chan, was released in behind Jordan Henderson, but he dragged his shot past the far post

Well, ultimately no damage was done.

After the match, Jurgen Klopp said, “We played a really good game and we got the result we deserved,” the Reds boss said post-match. We defended really well and had a good recovery. It was a tough game with only two days since the last one. It’s only the first leg, we know that but a lot of people were waiting for us to slip again.”

“For two years we were really good and this year we have problems, that’s fine. A lot of people expected us to slip again but the boys didn’t.”

Nagelsmann has now lost all three games he has played against Klopp at the start of his managerial career, having been in charge at Hoffenheim when they were dumped out of the competition by Liverpool 6-3 on aggregate in 2017-18 qualifying rounds.


Even though the fortress Anfield has been breached this year, but still, Klopp and his boys would not let the cracks widen.

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