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Reds Column I

Champions League 2020-21 Summary: Liverpool vs RB Leipzig

Liverpool Fc (The Reds) comfortably progressed to the Quarter-finals as they defeated the visitors RB Leipzig 2-0 in the Second Leg of the Champions League 2020-21 Round of 16.

Five changes were made to the Team that lost at home to Fulham Fc for the Reds Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg tie with RB Leipzig in Budapest.

After recovering from a knock, Ozan Kabak returned in defence and replaced Rhys Williams. The young Turkish International was lined-up alongside with Nathaniel Phillips.

In place of Neco Williams, Trent Alexander-Arnold started at Right Back while Thiago Alcântara and Fabinho were restored in midfield alongside with Georginio Wijnaldum.

Also, Sadio Mané was back in attack as the Senegalese International replaced Xherdan Shaqiri. Roberto Firmino was ruled out of the game due to a minor knock that seems to be knee problem.

The Reds looked to start brightly at their makeshift home as Thiago seemed have been given the license to roam forward as Wijnaldum and Fabinho offered the protection for the defence as the game progressed.

As expected the visitors looked to come out all guns blazing as they looked for slightest opportunities in attacking areas and quickly get bodies into the box yet that left gaps for the Reds to take full advantage.

Péter Gulácsi produced a stunning save to deny Jota following a corner kick from Trent Alexander-Arnold in the 19th minute.

The Reds defence and attack looked to be in sync as they looked completely different to the Team that performed poorly at home.

Still, the visitors looked to threaten to score the opening Goal but Alisson produced a stunning save to deny Kevin Kampl after being assisted by Christopher Nkunku in the 32nd minute.

The Reds needed to find a Goal to keep the game under control which means that the visitors would need 4 Goals at least without conceding further to progress.

Surprisingly, the First Half ended at 0-0 as the both sides were unable to find the back of the net.

After the Second Half began; following a cross from Hwang Hee-Chang, the header from Alexander Sørloth hit the bar in the 65th minute.

The Reds finally got their deserved lead in the 70th minute, as Jota slipped the ball to Salah who then cuts inside pas the visitors defence and slots the ball across the keeper in to the bottom right corner of the net.

Divock Origi and Naby Keïta replaced Jota and Thiago in the 70th minute.

Mané extended the lead for the Reds to make it 2-0 in the 76th minute as Origi provided a superb cross which the Senegalese International gleefully tapped the ball in the net.

James Milner was brought on to replace Georginio Wijnaldum in the 82nd minute.

In the 89th minute, Konstantinos Tsimikas and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replaced Robertson and Mané.

The Reds comfortably sealed a 2-0 win over the German side and overall 4-0 on aggregate, thus sealing the Reds passage to the Quarter-finals of the Champions League 2020-21.

 

Reds Team Performance Ratings

Liverpool (4-3-3 Formation)

Defence:

Alisson Becker – 7: Produced stunning saves especially during the First Half. The Brazilian was Superb in distribution, positioning and handling.

Trent Alexander-Arnold – 8: Made crucial interceptions, produced good deliveries and defended well. Very lively performance.

Ozan Kabak – 7: Calmly dealt well with the threat from Emil Forberg. Overall looked composed and solid positioning throughout.

Nathaniel Phillips – 7: Did not put a foot wrong. The Englishman had to push forward to pin back the visitors attack and defended well.

Andrew Robertson – 6: Defended well with good interceptions but did not look threatening going forward.

Midfield:

Georginio Wijnaldum – 7: Skippered the side and shielded the defence brilliantly with few lung bursting runs.

Fabinho – 9: Instantly made his presence known playing in his natural position with intelligent positioning and decisive tackling. The Brazilian’s presence also helped Thiago to roam freely up front.

Thiago Alcântara – 8: Finally get to play in his preferred position and got the license to do so with Fabinho and Wijnaldum shielding the defence. The Spaniard produced stunning array of passes and quick link-up with the forwards.

Forwards:

Sadio Mané – 7: Despite lacked decisiveness in the final third, the Senegalese never gave a moment’s respite for the German side and was rewarded with a Goal.

Diogo Jota – 8: Slotted in place of the injured Firmino. Linked up well with Mané and Salah. Drew saves from Gulácsi. Produced the assist that resulted in the opening Goal. The young Portuguese International surely passed this test as Firmino’s successor.

Mohamed Salah – 7: Had to tussle with against Lukas Klostermann and Dayot Upamencano. The Egyptian has some bright moments but could not to score. Got the much needed Goal to give the Reds some breathing space.

Substitutes:

Divock Origi – N/A: Provided the superb cross that resulted in the Second Goal.

Naby Keïta – N/A: His link up play with Origi resulted in the Second Goal.

James Milner – N/A: Was introduced to see off the game.

Konstantinos Tsimikas – N/A: Just for Game time.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – N/A: Like Tsimikas, brought on just to get more Game time.

Coach:

Jürgen Klopp – 8: The German Coach got his tactics spot on as restoring Fabinho not only improved the Reds overall play but also enabled Thiago to play at his full potential.

This game was a marked improvement in comparison to the Reds recent abject performances particularly the home loss to Fulham Fc.

Hope Klopp continues to utilise Players at their preferred positions rather than play them out of position.

 

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