CompetitionsUEFA champions league

Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane fire Liverpool to victory over RB Leipzig

Liverpool put their domestic struggles to one side as they gained the upper hand in their Champions League last-16 tie against RB Leipzig with a 2-0 victory in the first leg in Budapest.

Three successive Premier League defeats led to Reds manager Jurgen Klopp conceding their title defence is over, but they have taken a giant stride towards the quarter-finals of Europe’s premier club competition.

Both Liverpool goals came via Leipzig errors, with Mohamed Salah latching on to a woeful back pass by Marcel Sabitzer to slot home in the 53rd minute, and Sadio Mane doing likewise five minutes later after Nordi Mukiele’s slip-up.

The nominal visitors – this game had to take place in the Hungarian capital because of restrictions on travel into Germany due to coronavirus – were given a let-off early on when Dani Olmo headed against a post.

Substitute Hwang Hee-chan put wide late on but a makeshift Liverpool defence low on confidence kept only the team’s second clean sheet in their last 11 matches against a side that reached the Champions League semi-finals last term.

Leipzig had reached this stage by eliminating Manchester United, but a side that has the best home record in this season’s Bundesliga looked uncomfortable away from their Red Bull Arena fortress.

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