Péter Gulácsi had to be alert to keep Leipzig in this round of 16 tie in the first half, twice denying Diogo Jota – who also fired into the side netting on the stroke of the interval – and once thwarting Mohamed Salah.
Julian Nagelsmann rolled the dice in search of an opener and his team so nearly gained a foothold when substitute Alexander Sørloth headed against the crossbar midway through the second period in Budapest.
Jürgen Klopp’s team heeded the warning and could breathe a little easier moments later when Salah cut in from the right and shot low past Gulácsi. Any lingering Leipzig hope was extinguished as Sadio Mané met Divock Origi’s cross with an emphatic first-time finish
Player of the Match: Fabinho (Liverpool)
“On many occasions, he was a calming influence on the team, breaking up the play. The two young centre-backs were well-protected by him.”
UEFA Technical Observer Robbie Keane
Liverpool reporter Matthew Howarth
With a comfortable, commanding performance against an in-form Leipzig side, Liverpool put their domestic woes behind them. Klopp’s side should have won by a larger margin, but the manager will be pleased with his team’s overall dominance in Budapest.
Jordan Maciel, Leipzig reporter
It’s the end of the road for last season’s semi-finalists, and Nagelsmann can have no complaints over his side’s exit. Leipzig shot themselves in the foot with two costly errors in the first leg and offered too little to make up for them in the second. The season is far from lost, however, with the Bundesliga and German Cup still very much up for grabs.
Jürgen Klopp, Liverpool manager: “The best thing the boys did was that nobody could really see how good Leipzig can be. They are a monster, so powerful. You saw their runs in behind, but we defended that really well.”
Mohamed Salah, Liverpool forward: “It was an important result for us. We came here after losing a few games in the Premier League. The team is not in the best shape but we want to fight in the Champions League.”
Julian Nagelsmann, Leipzig coach: “My players are human and they didn’t reach their optimal performance levels today, which is why we lost. A little disappointment is allowed, but after 20 hours we need to shrug it off and focus on the league and cup.”