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Five talking points as Reds progress into last eight thanks to Salah and Mane

Liverpool progressed into the last eight of the Champions League as they saw off RB Leipzig in Hungary.

The Reds were forced to play their home leg in the same stadium that they played their away leg due to travel restirctions.

Jurgen Klopp’s side enjoyed a 2-0 advantage from the first leg and won by the same scoreline once again.

A Leipzig goal would’ve put the cat amongst the pigeons, but it was Mohamed Salah who broke the deadlock.

He finished off a well worked move in the 70th minute which before Sadio Mane doubled their lead minutes later to seal their quarter-final spot.

Here are five talking points from the Puskas Arena.

Mo Salah and Sadio Mane were both on the scoresheet

Mane – Salah double act

Mane and Salah both rediscovered their goalscoring touch in Budapest which was long overdue.

The Reds’ forward line have struggled to find the back of the net in recent weeks.

It looked as if their woes in front of goal were going to continue as they missed several chances early on.

But Salah came up trumps and his attacking colleague soon followed.

A lack of goals has been a major issue in recent weeks and Klopp will hope that his two main poachers have got their mojo back.

The Egyptian cooly slotted the opener
The Egyptian cooly slotted the opener

Thiago a 10 contender

The Spaniard has had a tough time of it since moving to Liverpool in the summer from Bayern Munich.

There was plenty of anticipation as he made his debut at Chelsea, but injuries and illness have kept him out for long periods.

Only in recent months has he got a run of games, but he has been criticised for slowing down Liverpool.

Thiago is excellent in possession and against Leipzig he played alongside the defensively minded Fabinho and Georginio Wijnaldum.

It allowed him the freedom to be more expressive in the final third and his vision created some excellent chances.

Klopp has not had the luxury of a No 10 since he sold Philippe Coutinho, but he may have one now.

Thiago was a creative influence from midfield
Thiago was a creative influence from midfield

Jota’s opportunity

Diogo Jota has not long been back from injury but his return has been timely.

The forward was in excellent form before he was sidelined for a lengthy period.

There were calls for Jota to replace Roberto Firmino such was his goal output before his injury.

Klopp eventually played them both, but with the Brazilian absent the former Wolves man has the chance to make the centre forward role his own and show what he can offer alongside Salah and Mane.

He provided the assist for the Egyptian to open the scoring but will been keen to get back in the goals himself.

Jurgen Klopp's side are into the last eight
Jurgen Klopp’s side are into the last eight

Home run ended – sort of

The Reds have lost their last six home games which has seen them spiral down the Premier League table.

They ended their run of home losses – although it wasn’t at Anfield.

Their Merseyside ground was a fortress for the best part of four years, but it is now being regularly breached.

Liverpool are unlikely to be playing in Budapest anytime soon, and certainly not as the home team.

But the record books will show that the Reds stopped the home rot.

Solace in Europe?

Yes Liverpool have been poor for large parts of this season, although injuries have of course played a role.

Regardless of that though there are issues that need to be address at Anfield.

Despite that though, while Liverpool remain in the Champions League people will consider them contenders.

Many of their top players are not firing on all cylinders, but their quality remains.

Should Van Dijk return a offer a defensive foundation then perhaps Klopp’s men will fancy their chances.

The German has always been good at raising his team for the big occasion and this tournament could suit them perfectly.




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