Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané earned Liverpool a valuable first-leg win in their round of 16 tie against Leipzig.
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Liverpool have the edge in their UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie against Leipzig thanks to second-half strikes from Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané.Leipzig vs Liverpool: as it happened, reaction
Match in brief
Despite controlling a majority of the game, it took 53 minutes for Liverpool to break the deadlock as Salah pounced on a loose back pass before funnelling coolly into Péter Gulácsi's bottom corner. Minutes later, Leipzig’s shaky back line was punished once again, with Mané on call to double Liverpool’s lead and secure a two-goal advantage going into the second leg.
Player of the Match: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
"He was a threat for the whole match, scoring a goal and working hard throughout."
Dušan Fitzel, UEFA Technical Observer
Jordan Maciel, Leipzig reporter
If you play with fire, you get burned. Leipzig came into the match full of confidence and belief that they could beat Liverpool, but delivered a performance riddled with sloppy passing and costly individual mistakes. Julian Nagelsmann will be disappointed at the manner of the defeat, but can have no complaints with the final result. It will take something special to overturn this result at Anfield in three weeks’ time.
Matthew Howarth, Liverpool reporter
Liverpool failed to capitalise on Leipzig’s profligacy in possession in the first half but rediscovered their ruthless streak in the second. There were excellent displays all over the pitch but Jürgen Klopp will be particularly pleased by his team’s defence, marshalled by the excellent Jordan Henderson.
Jürgen Klopp, Liverpool manager: “It was a tough game. We cannot
build mentality giants in one game, but tonight we were good. It’s only the first leg. I know a lot of people were waiting for us to slip again, but tonight the boys did it and I’m happy for them.”
Julian Nagelsmann, Leipzig coach: "We played really well in the second half; created lots of chances, but also made two crazy mistakes that will be punished not just at this level, but at any level. Our finishing was worse. We had 3-4 must-score chances. We need to talk about that more than the mistakes. That's part of the game, but overall I think we played well."
Jordan Henderson, Liverpool captain: "It was an important game for us. We're really happy with the performance overall. The goals and clean sheet were important. From start to finish I thought we pressed really well and looked dangerous going forward. It was a pleasing performance and a good win, but it’s only half the job done."
• Salah is Liverpool’s highest goalscorer in European Cup/UEFA Champions League history with 23 goals.
• Liverpool have won just two of their last six matches in the UEFA Champions League round of 16.
• Leipzig have kept a total of only four clean sheets in their last 23 UEFA Champions League matches.
Leipzig: Gulácsi; Mukiele (Orbán 64), Klostermann, Upamecano, Angeliño; Sabitzer, Haidara (Y Poulsen 64), Kampl (Hwang 73); Nkunku, Olmo, Adams
Liverpool: Alisson Becker; Alexander-Arnold, Ozan Kabak, Henderson, Robertson; Thiago Alcántara (Oxlade-Chamberlain 72), Wijnaldum, Jones; Salah (N Williams 90), Firmino (Shaqiri 72), Mané
Both teams have a number of domestic fixtures prior to the second leg on Wednesday 10 March.
21/2: Hertha (a)
27/2: Mönchengladbach (h)
03/03: Wolfsburg (h), German Cup
06/3: Freiburg (a)
20/2: Everton (h)
28/2: Sheffield United (a)
06/3: Fulham (h)
*League fixtures unless otherwise stated