“Of course, Thiago Alcantara had one of the best nights in a Liverpool shirt while finally, the front three responded despite wasting too many opportunities, but in the end, the Red Machine needed an anchor to make them functioning yet again- Fabinho was that anchor and the hero at Budapest”

 

There had to be a break to these dismal displays by the Reds. There had to be an end to the frustration in the Premier League. Because it is never a great sight to watch an iconic team like Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp struggle in such fashion and wander around the mid-table. Thankfully, Budapest halted the strings of failures as the Reds advanced to the quarterfinals.

Goals from Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane ensured Jurgen Klopp’s troops of a berth in the last eight, as the tie finished 4-0 on aggregate.

Liverpool could have taken the lead in the first half, but Peter Gulacsi’s heroics and some wasteful finishing gave RB Leipzig some hope. The visitors started the second half with more tenacity and even came close to pulling one back through Alexander Sorloth, whose attempt hit the woodwork.

Mohamed Salah opened the scoring in the 70th minute to give Liverpool the lead. Sadio Mane doubled their advantage minutes later following some brilliant work from Divock Origi on the right flank.

The chances at the domestic competition might have been botched, but the flame is still burning in the Champions League.

Whatever their struggles at home, the manner of this victory suggests Klopp’s side remain formidable foes in this competition. The six-time winners have their eye on the prize once again.

Leipzig, semi-finalists last season and high-fliers in the Bundesliga this, provided the odd scare, but overall Julian Nagelsmann’s men were no match for their more experienced counterparts. Indeed, had it not been for some wasteful finishing, Liverpool’s winning margin would have been even more comfortable.

The Reds won the game in the battle of midfield last night.

The inclusion of Fabinho as the base of the midfield played a key role and this has been the factor that the Reds have been missing throughout the season. It has been a tough season for them where they always struggled to surface the ideal XI and were forced to rotate their players in various positions. But last night at least they were able to play one of the best defensive midfielders in his ideal position and it fetched happiness.

Fabinho put up a master class in Budapest.

Leipzig tried to crack down the midfield but were trapped by the bony hips and outstretched spider-legs of the lanky Brazilian.  Fabinho read the game better than anyone last night and dictated from the deep. His presence at the base of the midfield shielded any glitches at the back and coordinated well between the midfield and defence.

The midfield of the Reds was fine-tuned, well-poised, and compact enough to shut down Leipzig. But Fabinho was not just about all those, rather, he brought something extra and which was – the sudden effective but awkward contact, sneaky barges, tactical blocks, and the aerial challenges: all these factors just toned down the fluency of Leipzig.

Leipzig got the ball rolling from the flank to the center only to advance forward and in the Bundesliga, such movements paid rich dividends for them, but at Budapest, Fabinho digested all those by positioning himself in those spaces – Leipzig could not do anything.

Of course, Thiago Alcantara had one of the best nights in a Liverpool shirt while finally, the front three responded despite wasting too many opportunities, but in the end, the Red Machine needed an anchor to make them functioning yet again- Fabinho was that anchor and the hero at Budapest.

 

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