Advantage Liverpool As RB Leipzig Crumble In Budapest
Two defensive errors have likely wrapped up RB Leipzigs Champions League season. The Bundesliga side lost their Champions League home match 2-0 to …
Advantage Liverpool As RB Leipzig Crumble In BudapestExplore Newsletters Latest Featured © 2021 Forbes Media LLC. All Rights Reserved | Sign InBETAThis is a BETA experience. You may opt-out by clicking hereFeb 16, 2021,05:44pm ESTFeb 16, 2021,02:17pm ESTFeb 16, 2021,01:38pm ESTFeb 16, 2021,01:37pm ESTFeb 16, 2021,01:17pm ESTFeb 16, 2021,12:30pm ESTFeb 16, 2021,11:43am ESTFeb 16, 2021,11:23am ESTFeb 16, 2021,05:55pm EST|Advantage Liverpool As RB Leipzig Crumble In BudapestContributorOpinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.
RB Leipzig loses their home match in Hungary 2-0 to Liverpool. The Premier League side now looks set … [+] to advance to the next round. (Photo by Laszlo Szirtesi/Getty Images)
Two defensive errors have likely wrapped up RB Leipzig’s Champions League season. On Tuesday, the Bundesliga side lost 0-2 to Premier League
side Liverpool at the Ferenc Puskas Arena in Budapest. Leipzig’s home game was moved to Hungary as German authorities have put a COVID-19 related travel ban on anyone entering the country from the United Kingdom.
Perhaps it was the new surroundings, but Leipzig never seemed truly at home at the Puskas Arena. Liverpool, in turn, quickly took control and ended the first half with 58% possession and 83.1% pass accuracy. Leipzig did manage to play their high press, but a pass accuracy of just 75.6% in the first half quickly highlighted the Bundesliga side’s biggest problems.
In fact, die Roten Bullen were lucky not to be down a goal after 45 minutes. Roberto Firmino appeared to have scored in the 36th minute, but the linesman had lifted his flag. Sadio Mané appeared to have played the ball back to Firmino from behind the goal-line, but on closer inspection, that ball never seemed to have crossed the line, and the goal should have maybe stood. The goal may have been waved off but set the tone for what was to come in the second half as Leipzig kept on inviting Liverpool to score goals.
First, however, it was Leipzig to miss a golden opportunity to go ahead. In the 47th minute, Christopher Nkunku was through on goal but failed to get the ball past Liverpool keeper Alisson. Just 11 minutes later, it was game over for Leipzig. First, Leipzig’s Marcel Sabitzer set up Mohamed Salah in the 53rd minute for Liverpool’s lead. Then Nordie Mukiele made a decisive mistake that would allow Sadio Mané to double the lead.
Individual mistakes by RB Leipzig paved the path to Liverpool’s round of 16 Champions League victory … [+] (Photo by FERENC ISZA/AFP via Getty Images)
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“We are disappointed after this defeat,” Sabitzer said after the game. “For most of the game, we played well and had two, three excellent opportunities. But we made two individual mistakes just after halftime.”
Two presents for a Liverpool side that has struggled in recent weeks. It was perhaps for that reason that Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp failed to show too much enthusiasm after the game. “You cannot build mentality giants in one game,” Klopp said to BT Sports after the game. “Tonight we were good; we deserved to win. I know that a lot of people were waiting for us to slip again, and tonight, the boys didn’t, so I’m really happy.”
Klopp also admitted that Leipzig, in many ways, played directly into his cards. “It was the game we wanted; it was the game we needed tonight,” Klopp said. “Leipzig can be a real monster. The way they play in the Bundesliga, they overrun teams are really physical and pretty much good at everything. Tonight we controlled them in an exceptional way.”
Leipzig manager Nagelsmann on the other hand, will be furious with what he has seen from his side on Tuesday. Leipzig was sloppy and failed to put up significant pressure until they were down by two goals. As the minutes progressed, Leipzig would close the possession gap (48-52%) and have more shots on goal than Liverpool (12-10). But Leipzig’s low pass completion rate of just 77% highlighted Leipzig’s biggest problem of the night; the side was just not clinical enough to compete with a Liverpool side on a mission to overcome a poor run of form.
Manuel Veth is the editor-in-chief of the and the Area Manager USA at . He has also been published in the Guardian, Newsweek, Howler, and several other outlets. Follow him on Twitter:
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