Champions League

RB Leipzig 0-2 Liverpool: Player ratings as Reds take control of round of 16 tie

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
Feb 16, 2021, 10:04 PM GMT
The Reds are now in polo position in the tie
The Reds are now in polo position in the tie / Laszlo Szirtesi/Getty Images
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Second-half goals from Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane gave Liverpool a 2-0 win in the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie against RB Leipzig.

In an entertaining first half both sides had chances to score. Dani Olmo went closest for Leipzig, heading Angelino's cross onto the post, while Liverpool's Roberto Firmino had the ball in the back of the net just before the break, only for it to be ruled out as the ball just went out of play in the buildup.

Seven minutes into the second half, the Reds found a breakthrough when Mohamed Salah raced onto Marcel Sabitzer's loose pass and finished calmly.

Soon after, Leipzig gifted Liverpool a second goal. This time it was Nordi Mukiele who failed to deal with a routine long ball, which allowed Sadio Mane to a clean run at Peter Gulacsi and he made no mistake.

Despite a late rally from the Bundesliga side, Liverpool managed to hold onto their two-goal lead, leaving them in prime position to progress to the quarter-finals, with the second leg scheduled for 10 March.

Here are your player ratings for both teams from Budapest..

RB LEIPZIG

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

Gulacsi got his head stuck in the net in the first half
Gulacsi got his head stuck in the net in the first half / FERENC ISZA/Getty Images

Peter Gulacsi (GK) - 6/10 - Made an important save in the first half and also swept up Liverpool's long balls over the top effectively. Little he could do about the goals.

Nordi Mukiele (CB) - 4/10 - Pretty dire. Picked up an early yellow and gifted Liverpool their second goal with a truly horrific mistake.

Lukas Klostermann (CB) - 5/10 - Caught out in possession on a few occasions. His passing was sloppy as well.

Dayot Upamecano (CB) - 4/10 - His passing in the first half was offensively bad and often put his teammates under pressure. Did not improve much after the break either.

2. Wing-backs & midfielders

It was an evening to forget for Sabitzer
It was an evening to forget for Sabitzer / Laszlo Szirtesi/Getty Images

Tyler Adams (RWB) - 6/10 - Minimal impact going forward but he stemmed Mane's influence pretty well.

Marcel Sabitzer (CM) - 4/10 -
Some bright moments but the only thing he will be remembered for in this game is his shocking, misplaced pass which led to the first goal.

Kevin Kampl (CM) - 5/10 -
Recycled possession but sometimes found himself chasing shadows. Was sacrificed for Hwang Hee-Chan in the second half.

Amadou Haidara (CM) - 5/10 -
Kept things safe in possession. Did not break things up as effectively as he usually does with Liverpool playing round him fairly easily.

Angelino (LWB) - 7/10 -
Offered a sustained threat down the left-hand side, creating several chances with his accurate crosses. Finishing was poor.

3. Forwards

Olmo went closest for Leipzig, hitting the post with a header
Olmo went closest for Leipzig, hitting the post with a header / Laszlo Szirtesi/Getty Images

Dani Olmo (ST) - 6/10 - Struck the post with a glorious diving header early on. Took up some dangerous positions throughout.

Christopher Nkunku (ST) - 6/10 - Squandered a fairly good one-on-one chance. Only got in behind the Liverpool defence on a handful of occasions.

4. Substitutes

Willi Orban - 6/10 - Looked more solid than his teammates. Perhaps he should have started in his homeland.

Yussuf Poulsen - 6/10 -
Put himself about as he always does.

Hwang Hee-Chan - 5/10 -
Worked exceptionally hard after coming on. Missed a one-on-one which could have swung the tie.

LIVERPOOL

5. Goalkeeper & defenders

Kabak was handed his first Champions League start for Liverpool
Kabak was handed his first Champions League start for Liverpool / Laszlo Szirtesi/Getty Images

Alisson (GK) - 7/10 - Made an important save from Nkunku just after the break. Without it, the game could have developed very differently. Also managed to go a game without making a hideous mistake. Progress.

Trent Alexander-Arnold (RB) - 7/10 -
One of his most creative displays in recent memory. He completed four key passes in the first half alone and consistently threatened.

Ozan Kabak (CB) - 7/10 -
Responded well after his testing debut. Chipped in with a game-high four tackles but could have done a bit better in possession.

Jordan Henderson (CB) - 7/10 -
Caught the eye with a flurry of excellent long passes. Nkunku rarely got the better of him as well.

Andy Robertson (LB) - 7/10 -
So nearly lobbed a back-peddling Gulacsi in the first half. Defended well but long passing was a bit wayward at times.

6. Midfield

Thiago knew the Leipzig midfield well from his time in the Bundesliga
Thiago knew the Leipzig midfield well from his time in the Bundesliga / Laszlo Szirtesi/Getty Images

Curtis Jones (CM) - 7/10 - Neat, tidy and hard working. He helped Liverpool control the midfield for much of game.

Georginio Wijnaldum (CM) - 7/10 - Popped up all over the place to help his side build up attacks and cover his teammates.

Thiago Alcantara (CM) - 7/10 - An accomplished midfield display. He put in a sterling defensive effort and of course, excelled in possession.

7. Forwards

Salah seized upon Sabitzer error to open the scoring
Salah seized upon Sabitzer error to open the scoring / Laszlo Szirtesi/Getty Images

Mohamed Salah (RW) - 8/10 - Slipped in behind the Leipzig defence effectively with some well-timed runs. Preyed on the three opposition centre-backs all evening and got his reward when Sabitzer misplaced a pass, allowing him to score.

Roberto Firmino (ST) - 7/10 -
Linked up well with his two partners in crime. One cross for Mane in the first half was particularly impressive.

Sadio Mane (LW) - 8/10 -
Took his chance extremely well and so nearly assisted Firmino in the first half, with the ball just creeping over the touchline.

8. Substitutes

Xherdan Shaqiri - 6/10 - Did not do much wrong after coming on.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - 6/10 - Very much as above.

Neco Williams - N/A

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