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Liverpool vs Leipzig: UEFA Champions League background, form guide, previous meetings

A 2-0 first-leg win in Budapest has put Liverpool in pole position to reach a third quarter-final in four seasons.

Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring in Budapest
Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring in Budapest Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Liverpool are well placed to reach a third UEFA Champions League quarter-final in four seasons as they take on Leipzig again with a 2-0 cushion to defend.

• The first leg at the Puskás Aréna in Budapest – where this game is also being played – was also the first ever fixture between the teams, and it was Liverpool who came out on top thanks to goals early in the second half from Mohamed Salah (53) and Sadio Mané (58).

• Leipzig are in the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds for the second time after their debut appearance in 2019/20, ensuring a round of 16 return by finishing second behind Paris Saint-Germain in Group H thanks to a dramatic Matchday 6 victory against Liverpool's domestic rivals Manchester United. Liverpool, meanwhile, came first in Group D, winning four of their six matches to reach this stage for the fourth season in a row.

Highlights: Leipzig 0-2 Liverpool (2 mins)
Highlights: Leipzig 0-2 Liverpool (2 mins)

Form guide
Liverpool

• The Reds won their first three games in this season's competition without conceding, beating Ajax (1-0) and Atalanta (5-0) away and Midtjylland (2-0) at home. A 2-0 defeat by the Italian side on Matchday 4 was their first group stage reverse at Anfield since October 2014, but progress and first place were assured by another 1-0 win against Ajax on Matchday 5 before a closing 1-1 draw at Midtjylland.

• Liverpool were champions of England for the 19th time in 2019/20, their first league title since 1990.

• The Reds are in the UEFA Champions League for the 13th time; this is the tenth time they have reached the last 16.

• Jürgen Klopp's side also finished top of Group E in 2019/20, recovering from losing their opening fixture 2-0 at Napoli to advance with 13 points ahead of the Italian club. They sealed progress on Matchday 6 with a 2-0 victory at Salzburg.

• Liverpool had won their sixth European Cup in 2018/19, but their defence of the trophy came to a halt in the round of 16, Atlético de Madrid winning 1-0 in Spain and, after extra time, 3-2 at Anfield. The latter result ended Liverpool's 25-match unbeaten home run in Europe (W18 D7), since a 3-0 loss to Real Madrid on 22 October 2014, and was their first aggregate defeat in 12 two-legged knockout ties in UEFA competition.

• Defeat by Atlético last season and Atalanta this have made it two losses in Liverpool's last four European home games (W2).

• Liverpool have won 14 of their last 22 European fixtures (D3 L5).

• Liverpool's last game against a Bundesliga side before this tie came in the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League, a round of 16 win against Bayern München (0-0 h, 3-1 a) that made their record in two-legged ties against German clubs W15 L2. They have won the last five, since a 4-3 aggregate defeat against Bayer Leverkusen in the 2001/02 quarter-finals (1-0 h, 2-4 a).

• The Reds are unbeaten in 11 games with German clubs since that 2002 loss at Leverkusen (W8 D3) – their only reverse in their past 19 fixtures (W12 D6).

• The 2019 draw against Bayern ended Liverpool's six-game winning run at home against German clubs and was the first match with a Bundesliga side at Anfield they had failed to win since another 0-0 draw against the same opponents in 1981. Indeed, the English side have won 14 of their 18 home games with German visitors, the exceptions the three draws with Bayern and a 0-0 result against Köln in the first such encounter, in March 1965.

• The Reds have kept clean sheets in five of their last seven UEFA Champions League knockout games at home.

• The first leg was Liverpool's first game in Hungary since a 1-0 victory away to Debrecen in the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League group stage, a match played at Budapest's Ferenc Puskás Stadium, which was demolished in 2016 to make way for the Puskás Aréna that opened three years later. That win was Liverpool's first in Hungary on their third visit in UEFA competition (D2), all those games taking place in Budapest.

• Liverpool's record against German clubs on neutral territory is now W3 D1 L1, with victories in their last three such matches, most recently before the first leg of this tie a 3-2 defeat of Bayern in the 2001 UEFA Super Cup in Monaco. They also beat Borussia Mönchengladbach in the 1977 European Cup final in Rome to win the trophy for the first time having lost 2-1 to Dortmund in Glasgow in the 1966 European Cup Winners' Cup final.

• The Merseyside club are in the round of 16 for the fourth season in a row and the ninth overall; their record is W6 L2. Both defeats have come as holders; against Benfica in 2005/06 (0-1 a, 0-2 h) and Atlético last season.

• Last season's elimination by Atlético was Liverpool's first two-legged defeat in the UEFA Champions League since a 7-5 aggregate loss to Chelsea in the 2008/09 quarter-finals.

• Before last season, the Reds were unbeaten in eight matches in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 (W6 D2); they had kept seven consecutive clean sheets before conceding at Bayern in 2018/19. Their previous defeat before losing at Atlético was a 1-0 loss at home to Barcelona in the 2006/07 second leg; they won that tie on away goals having triumphed 2-1 in Spain. However, their overall home record in the round of 16 is W3 D2 L3 with no wins in the last three matches.

• Liverpool have won all 33 of the UEFA competition ties in which they won the away first leg – losing only four of those second legs but still prevailing on aggregate – most recently against Porto in the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League round of 16 (5-0 a, 0-0 h).

• The Reds have won 2-0 in the away first leg on four previous occasions in UEFA competition, beating Tirol 4-0 at Anfield in the first instance, in the 1991/92 UEFA Cup third round, but suffering 1-0 home second-leg losses against both Roma in the 2000/01 UEFA Cup fourth round and Grazer AK in the 2004/05 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round; on both occasions they went on to lift the trophy. Most recently, they beat Rabotnički 2-0 in both North Macedonia and England in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League third qualifying round.

• Liverpool's record in five UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W4 L1:
4-2 v Roma, 1983/84 European Champion Clubs' Cup final
3-2 v AC Milan, 2004/05 UEFA Champions League final
4-1 v Chelsea, 2006/07 UEFA Champions League semi-final
4-5 v Beşiktaş, 2014/15 UEFA Europa League round of 32
5-4 v Chelsea, 2019 UEFA Super Cup

Watch all Leipzig's group stage goals
Watch all Leipzig's group stage goals

Leipzig
• Leipzig won their three home games in this season's group stage, beating İstanbul Başakşehir (2-0) and Paris Saint-Germain (2-1) before the 3-2 win against United on Matchday 6 that secured progress. They lost their first two away games, going down 5-0 at United and 1-0 in Paris, but recorded a crucial 4-3 victory at İstanbul Başakşehir on Matchday 5, substitute Alexander Sørloth scoring an added-time winner.

• This is Leipzig's third UEFA Champions League campaign, all in the last four seasons, and their fourth foray into European football overall.

• The 2019/20 season proved to be the most successful in Leipzig's brief European history, Julian Nagelsmann's side going all the way to the UEFA Champions League semi-finals. Leipzig picked up 11 points to finish first in their section – they had come third in their two previous group stage campaigns in UEFA competition – ahead of Lyon, Benfica and Zenit.

• Leipzig then beat 2018/19 runners-up Tottenham in their first UEFA Champions League knockout tie (1-0 a, 3-0 h) and Atlético (2-1) in a one-off quarter-final in Lisbon prior to a 3-0 semi-final defeat by Paris.

• Leipzig have now won 12 of their 23 UEFA Champions League fixtures (D3 L8).

• The German side won three of their four away games in last season's UEFA Champions League, drawing the other. Their away record in Europe is now W7 D5 L7.

• Third in the Bundesliga for the second season in a row in 2019/20, this is Leipzig's fourth European campaign and only their 42nd match. In 2017/18 they became the first team to make their European debut in the UEFA Champions League group stage.

• Leipzig have won three of their five games against English clubs, although a 5-0 reverse at Manchester United on Matchday 2 this season is their heaviest European defeat.

• The German club have never before travelled for an away second leg in UEFA competition needing to overturn a first-leg defeat. 

• The first leg was Leipzig's first ever game in Hungary; this is now their fourth UEFA fixture on neutral territory after last season's matches against Atlético and Paris.

• Leipzig have yet to feature in a UEFA penalty shoot-out.

Leipzig v Liverpool: Salah highlights and reaction
Leipzig v Liverpool: Salah highlights and reaction

Links and trivia
• Klopp's Liverpool beat Nagelsmann's Hoffenheim 6-3 on aggregate in the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League play-offs, Trent Alexander-Arnold opening the scoring in a 2-1 first-leg victory in Sinsheim before goals from Salah and former Hoffenheim striker Roberto Firmino helped the English club to a 4-2 victory at Anfield.

• Naby Keïta was a Leipzig player between 2016 and 2018, when he joined Liverpool. He scored 17 goals in 71 appearances for Leipzig, where his team-mates included Péter Gulácsi, Marcel Halstenberg, Lukas Klostermann, Willy Orban, Emil Forsberg, Marcel Sabitzer, Kevin Kampl, Ibrahima Konaté, Dayot Upamecano, Konrad Laimer and Yussuf Poulsen.

• Gulácsi was on the books at Liverpool between 2007 and 2013, but did not make a first-team appearance. He had loan spells at Hereford United (2009), Tranmere (2010) and Hull (2011/12) before leaving permanently for Salzburg in 2013.

• Have also played in Germany:
Thiago Alcántara (Bayern München 2013–20)
Xherdan Shaqiri (Bayern München 2012–15)
Roberto Firmino (Hoffenheim 2011–15)
Divock Origi (Wolfsburg 2017/18)
Nathaniel Phillips (Stuttgart 2019/20 loan)
Ozan Kabak (Stuttgart 2019, Schalke 2019–21)

• Have also played in England:
Angeliño (Manchester City 2013–18, 2019)
Alexander Sørloth (Crystal Palace 2018–19)

• International team-mates:
Thiago Alcántara & Dani Olmo (Spain)
Georginio Wijnaldum, Virgil van Dijk & Justin Kluivert (Netherlands)

• Liverpool's Mané played at Salzburg alongside Leipzig duo Kevin Kampl (2012–14) and Gulácsi (2013/14).

• Kluivert and Alisson were briefly team-mates at Roma in summer 2018.

• Klopp was coach of Borussia Dortmund when Kampl joined the club in January 2015.

• Dominik Szoboszlai started both Salzburg's 4-3 loss at Anfield and 2-0 home defeat by Liverpool in the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League group stage.

• Thiago scored in Bayern's 3-0 Bundesliga win against Leipzig on 21 December 2016. He was also on target in a 5-4 Bayern win on 13 May 2017, with Sabitzer and Poulsen among the Leipzig scorers.

• Firmino scored in Brazil's 2-1 defeat of Sabitzer's Austria in a friendly on 18 November 2014, his first international goal on his second appearance.

• Wijnaldum's goal helped the Netherlands to a 4-2 win against a Germany side including Klostermann in a UEFA EURO 2020 qualifier on 6 September 2019.

• Leipzig's new signing Szoboszlai scored the late winning goal for Hungary against Iceland in the UEFA EURO 2020 play-off final at the Puskás Aréna on 12 November 2020. His Leipzig team-mates Gulácsi and Orban were also starters for Hungary in that match.

Latest news

Watch all Liverpool's group stage goals
Watch all Liverpool's group stage goals

Liverpool
UEFA Champions League squad changes
In: Ben Davies (Preston), Ozan Kabak (Schalke, loan), Nathaniel Phillips
Out: Harvey Elliott, Joël Matip, Takumi Minamino (Southampton, loan)

• Liverpool have won only five of their last 17 matches in all competitions (D3 L9) and have lost six of their last eight games (W2).

• The Reds have suffered eight defeats in their last 12 Premier League matches – as many as in their previous 121 games.

• Liverpool's 68-match unbeaten home league run (W55 D13) was ended by a 1-0 reverse against Burnley on 21 January. They also lost their next five Premier League matches at Anfield, against Brighton (0-1), Manchester City (1-4), Everton (0-2), Chelsea (0-1) and, on Sunday, Fulham (0-1) – the first time in Liverpool's history they had lost six successive home matches.

• Jürgen Klopp's side are without a win at Anfield since the 2-1 victory against Tottenham on 16 December; their record since is D2 L6. That is their longest run of top-flight games without a home victory since their ten-game sequence between October 1951 and March 1952.

• Liverpool last lost six home league games in a season in 1953/54, when they finished bottom; that is also the last time they were relegated.

• The defeat by Chelsea made Liverpool the first English champions to lose five successive home games in the following campaign.

• The 7-2 loss at Aston Villa on 4 October was the first time Liverpool had conceded seven goals in a game since April 1963, in a 7-2 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur. Liverpool were also the first reigning English champions to concede seven goals in a league match since September 1953, when Arsenal lost 7-1 at Sunderland.

• Liverpool have 43 points after 28 games of this season's Premier League, 36 less than at the same stage of last season.

• The Reds have scored only once in their last seven home matches – a Mohamed Salah penalty against Manchester City.

• Klopp's side have conceded 46 goals in their 40 games in all competitions this season; five of their 13 clean sheets have come in the UEFA Champions League. They have managed two clean sheets in their last 12 matches.

• Joe Gomez damaged a tendon in his left knee in training with England on 11 November and has not played since.

• Virgil van Dijk has been out since sustaining a serious knee injury in a 2-2 draw at Everton on 17 October.

• Matip has been ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering an ankle injury in a 3-1 Premier League win at Tottenham on 28 January; he has been removed from Liverpool's UEFA Champions League squad.

• Jordan Henderson has been out since suffering a groin injury in the defeat by Everton on 20 February. He subsequently underwent surgery on the problem.

• Fabinho returned to the starting line-up against Chelsea, his first appearance since 7 Febuary due to a muscle injury.

• Diogo Jota was a second-half substitute against Chelsea before starting against Fulham; he had been sidelined by a knee injury since the 1-1 draw at Midtjylland on 9 December.

• Kabak missed the loss to Fulham with a knock.

• Van Dijk and Thiago Alcántara were included in the UEFA.com fans' Men's Team of the Year 2020.

Great Leipzig Champions League goals
Great Leipzig Champions League goals

Leipzig
UEFA Champions League squad changes
In: Dominik Szoboszlai (Salzburg)
Out: Dennis Borkowski, Eric Martel, Tim Schreiber, Philipp Tschauner

• Emil Forsberg's next appearance in UEFA club competition will be his 50th.

• Leipzig have won all four matches since the first leg against Liverpool, triumphing 3-0 at Freiburg in the Bundesliga on Saturday thanks to goals from Christopher Nkunku – his fourth in his last six league appearances – Alexander Sørloth and Forsberg.

• On 21 February Julian Nagelsmann's team prevailed 3-0 at Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga. Six days later they won 3-2 at home to Mönchengladbach, a game in which they had been two goals down, with Sørloth scoring an added-time winner.

• On 3 March Leipzig reached the semi-finals of the German Cup with a 2-0 win against Wolfsburg.

• After 24 Bundesliga matchdays Leipzig have amassed 53 points – four more than at the same stage of last season. In 2019/20 they had scored 62 goals after 24 games, 16 more than this season.

• Willi Orbán had to be substituted at half-time against Wolfsburg with a hand injury that required surgery on 4 March and missed the weekend win.

• Marcel Sabitzer (calf) and Marcel Halstenberg (knee) both sat out the Wolfsburg and Freiburg games.

• Angeliño has missed Leipzig's last three games with a thigh injury.

• Forsberg (knee) was out between 23 January and 27 February.

• Benjamin Henrichs, who had been out since the end of November due to knee problems, was an unused replacement against Liverpool and Hertha before coming on against Wolfsburg and Freiburg.

• Szoboszlai is yet to play for Leipzig due to an adductor problem.

• A knee injury has sidelined Konrad Laimer since 18 August; he underwent surgery in mid-September.