RB Leipzig v Liverpool: Match in pictures
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Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson has suggested that further improvement is needed to redeem his side’s recent lack of results despite a comfortable win over RB Leipzig in their Champions League knockout stage clash on Tuesday evening. Goals from Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane sealed an impressive victory against the Bundesliga heavyweights, ending the club’s three-match losing streak and providing the Reds with some much-needed winning momentum ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash with local rivals Everton.
Liverpool were dominant from the first whistle to the last at the Puskas Arena, restricting Leipzig’s time on the ball and creating dangerous opportunities time and time again.
The result sees Jurgen Klopp’s side plant one foot firmly into the Champions League quarter-finals, with Julian Nagelsmann facing an uphill battle to rescue the tie at Anfield in the second leg in three weeks’ time.
Although the Reds have struggled in the Premier League as of late, seeing their title challenge effectively ended by successive defeats against Brighton and Hove Albion, Manchester City and Leicester City, they have the chance to restore some pride in the second Merseyside derby of the campaign on Saturday.
Tuesday’s performance will undoubtedly serve as a huge relief for Liverpool and Klopp, with the German boss likely to be feeling quietly confident ahead of the visit of Everton, who are expected to be without star man and top scorer Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
However, Henderson has urged his fellow team-mates to avoid prematurely easing off the gas, claiming that one good performance is not enough to rectify Liverpool’s recent failures.
JUST IN: Jurgen Klopp sets Liverpool challenge after ‘exceptional’ Leipzig win
When asked if the result will rejuvenate the Reds going into the weekend’s clash, Henderson told BT Sport: “It’s only one good result. Yes, we’re pleased with it.
“Now we’ve got to turn our attention to the Premier League, recover and do our best in that as well.”
Although the England midfielder was happy to provide the voice of reason, he also admitted that Liverpool’s efforts, especially in defence, will provide a welcome boost to the club’s mentality with the Reds still facing a battle to secure a top-four finish.
Tuesday’s win marked their first clean sheet in eight matches, with under-fire goalkeeper Alisson producing an error-free performance in stark contrast to his woeful showings against Pep Guardiola’s City and Leicester.
“Yeah, it was an important game for us,” Henderson continued. “A tough game but we’re really happy with the performance overall.
“Obviously to score the goals as well and to keep a clean sheet was important for us.”
Running the rule over Liverpool’s efforts, he added: “From start to finish defensively, we pressed really well, won the ball back and looked dangerous going forward.
“A good win but only half the job done. Another leg to go.”
Klopp will be eager to make the most of his side’s newfound form against the Toffees, who sit just three points and one position behind sixth-placed Liverpool in the Premier League table with two games in hand over their Anfield counterparts.
The German boss echoed Henderson’s comments after the final whistle on Tuesday night, suggesting that consistent winning performances are required in order to restore their reputation as the ‘mentality giants’ of English football.
“We cannot build ‘mentality giants’ in one game, but tonight we were good,” he said. “We deserved to win, we won the game so nicely.
“I know there were a lot of people waiting for us to slip again, and tonight the boys didn’t, so I’m really happy.”
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