Liverpool - RB Leipzig

Europe: Champions League
Liverpool Mohamed Salah (71), S. Mané (74)
Puskás Aréna2-0
RB Leipzig

With same goal-scorers and same scoreline, Liverpool eliminate RB Leipzig from Europe

By Peter Vice

The 2021 European dream officially ended for the third Bundesliga club on Wednesday evening in Budapest. Julian Nagelsmann's German Red Bulls already faced a steep uphill climb against Jürgen Klopp's Liverpool in the second leg of the UCL round-of-16 tie. 

After the German representatives put up a solid fight and even came within a strike of the crossbar of making it competitive, the Liverpool goals came in quick succession and RB fell out of the competition by a 0-4 aggregate scoreline. 

Alexander Sørloth.
Alexander Sørloth.

Julian Naglesmann certainly fielded his best possible XI on Wednesday. Leipzig captain Marcel Sabitzer returned to the starting XI to pair directly with Kevin Kampl in midfield. The proven duo stood ahead of a back-three spearheaded by Dayot Upamecano and behind a triplicate attack of Emil Forsberg, Yussuf Poulsen, and Christopher Nkunku.

Jürgen Klopp countered with an exceptionally potent 4-3-3. This time Diogo Jota, instead of Roberto Firminho, worked as the lead striker between wingers Sadio Mané and Mohammed Salah. Just as in the opening leg, recent Bundesligists Thiago Alcantara and Ozan Kabak featured in Klopp's starting XI.

After getting off to a fine offensive start for the EPL Reds, Nkunku and Danio Olmo combined wonderfully in the 10th to force Liverpool keeper Alisson into the first save of the match. Nine minutes later, Peter Gulasci had to parry acrobatically to stop a Jota header. Gulasci alertly stopped Salah on another monster chance in the 24th.

The English team looked by far the stronger contestant throughout the first half, and Nagelsmann did not hesitate to bring on an extra attacker immediately at the restart. The resurgent Alexander Sørloth came on for Kampl at the break. The robust Norwegian, who looks to have finally hit his stride for Leipzig in recent weeks, did come close to recording an "away goal" for the Saxons.

Five minutes after a Sørloth header hit the crossbar, however, Mohammed Salah found the back of the net with a sharp-angle low shot after a fine counter. Four minutes after that, Sadio Mané guided a Divock Origi header over the line. The second leg thus became a mirror of the first, with Salah and Mané tallying in quick succession.

66Trent Alexander-Arnold
47Nathaniel Phillips
19Ozan Kabak
26Andrew Robertson ↩90
6Thiago Alcântara ↩72
5Georginio Wijnaldum (C) ↩82
11Mohamed Salah
20Diogo Jota ↩71
10Sadio Mané ↩90
53Harvey Davies
27Divock Origi ↪71
21Konstantinos Tsimikas ↪90
28Ben Davies
46Rhys Williams
76Neco Williams
7James Milner ↪82
8Naby Keïta ↪72
15Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain ↪90
17Curtis Jones
23Xherdan Shaqiri
RB Leipzig
1Péter Gulácsi
22Nordi Mukiele
5Dayotchanculle Upamecano
16Lukas Klostermann
44Kevin Kampl ↩46
14Tyler Adams
25Daniel Olmo ↩72
7Marcel Sabitzer (C)
18Christopher Nkunku
9Yussuf Poulsen ↩60
10Emil Forsberg ↩60
33Josep Martínez
11Hwang Hee-Chan ↪60
19Alexander Sørloth ↪46
21Justin Kluivert ↪60
4Willi Orban
6Ibrahima Konaté
23Marcel Halstenberg
39Benjamin Henrichs
8Amadou Haidara ↪72
20Lazar Samardžić

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