Familiar faces stand tall as Liverpool cement CL quarter-final berth

Date published: Wednesday 10th March 2021 9:49 - Steve Pearson

Liverpool.TEAMtalk

Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane both netted as Liverpool secured a spot in the Champions League quarter finals with a 2-0 (4-0 on agg.) victory over RB Leipzig.

Liverpool spurned a glorious opportunity early when Thiago Alcantara opted to pass when shooting from a central position on the edge of the box seemed to all the wiser option.

RB Leipzig knew they had to score at least two coming into the contest, and almost got one when Christopher Nkunku broke away down the left.

The ball broke to Dani Olmo, but the Spaniard’s shot was expertly saved from close range by the sprawling Alisson Becker.

Chances were evenly split as the contest on the night remained tantalisingly poised. Diogo Jota was next to come close to breaking the deadlock after powerfully meeting a corner that was tipped over by Peter Gulacsi.

Thiago finally produced a moment of magic in a Liverpool shirt when setting Mohamed Salah away with an acrobatic through ball.

The Egyptian saw his shot parried straight to Sadio Mane who misjudged his header to let Leipzig off the hook.

The game somehow continued to remain goalless despite both sides posing a genuine attacking threat. Kevin Kampl and Emile Forsberg both went close as the game reached the half-hour mark.

Jota stung the palms of Gulacsi as half-time neared with a rifled effort. In truth, the Portuguese should’ve done better with his shot too central from an inviting position.

The ex-Wolves man was again in the spotlight with the final act of the half, somehow shooting wide from close range with the goal gaping.

Chances on the break were increasingly common after the interval as Leipzig began to push greater numbers forward.

Liverpool’s forwards continued to fall at the final hurdle, however, ensuring the game remained 0-0 at the hour mark.

Former Crystal Palace striker then put Liverpool hearts in mouths when diverting a looping header onto the crossbar.

The deadlock was finally broken in the 70th minute when a flowing counter involving all three Liverpool forwards proved too much for Leipzig.

Salah cut inside after receiving the ball from Jota and found his finishing touch by burying the low strike into the bottom corner.

As if the shackles had been unlocked, Liverpool quickly doubled their advantage when substitute Divock Origi made an immediate impact.

The Belgian whipped in a superb first-time delivery across the face of goal for Mane to prod home.

That took the wind out of Leipzig’s sails, with the final moments of the match playing out in relative comfort for the Reds.

Liverpool eventually emerged with a 2-0 victory on the night to advance to the quarter finals 4-0 on aggregate.

 

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