RB Leipzig and Dayot Upamecano have their work cut out after losing the home leg of their UEFA Champions League last-16 tie with Liverpool 2-0.
Leipzig: Gulacsi - Mukiele, Upamecano, Klostermann - Adams, Sabitzer (c) Kampl, Angelino - Haidara, Olmo - Nkunku
Subs: Martinez, Orban, Konate, Poulsen, Hwang, Sörloth, Samardzic, Kluivert, Halstenberg, Hartmann, Henrichs
Out: Forsberg (knee), Laimer (knee), Szoboszlai (groin)
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann
Liverpool: Alisson - Alexander-Arnold, Kabak, Henderson (c), Robertson - Thiago, Wijnaldum, Jones - Salah, Firmino, Mane
Subs: Adrian, Kelleher, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Tsimikas, Shaqiri, Origi, Davies, R. Williams, Phillips, Cain, Clarkson, N. Williams
Out: Fabinho (muscular), Gomez (knee), Jota (knee), Keita (ankle), Matip (ankle), Milner (knock), Van Dijk (torn ACL)
Coach: Jürgen Klopp
As it happened
Inches away from that goal for Leipzig! Adams with the through ball up to Hwang, who'd caught the Liverpool defence napping, but his lofted finish over Alisson bounced agonisingly wide.
Three minutes of it at the end of the 90.
Liverpool are showing their experience here and keeping the ball in the closing minutes. They know a Leipzig goal completely changes the dynamic of this tie ahead of the second leg at Anfield on 10 March.
Another chance, another miscued effort as Angelino finds himself in acres of space on the end of a cross, but ends up putting it closer to the corner flag than the goal.
SABITZER HITS ONE
A headed clearance goes straight to Sabitzer 20 yards out, but he doesn't really catch it and drags wide.
ANOTHER ATTACKING CHANGE
It's striker Hee-Chan Hwang on for holding midfielder Kevin Kampl. The South Korean got a goal and an assist for Red Bull Salzburg at Anfield last season.
SLOWING A BIT
The high tempo has dropped a little, perhaps with Liverpool knowing they can sit back and wait. The onus is on Leipzig to get back into this tie.
The Leipzig boss sends on his big centre-forward and a fresh defender.
The second goal appears to have sparked Leipzig into life and they're looking to get forward. Olmo is found in space to the right but has his shot blocked for a corner.
Leipzig break forward with a through ball up to Angelino. His first touch forces him wide and makes the angle almost impossible as he drills his effort wide.
LIVERPOOL DOUBLE UP
It's yet another defensive howler by Leipzig as Mukiele gets under a high ball in the middle of his own half and Mane nips in, dribbles forwards unchallenged and fires past Gulacsi.
SALAH PUTS LIVERPOOL AHEAD
A catastrophic misplaced pass by Leipzig skipper Sabitzer, missing Klostermann but going straight to Salah, who runs through unopposed and slots past Gulacsi.
As it was in the first, Leipzig have the first chance of the second half. Olmo on the turn just over the halfway line plays Nkunku in behind. He's away from Henderson but is denied by a high left hand from Alisson as he goes for the chip.
Both teams resume with the players who started the game.
TIGHT BUT EXCITING
There's been no shortage of effort in the first half, but clear-cut chances have been at a premium. Only two of the 12 attempts from either side have been on target, while Dani Olmo has come closest with a header against the post. Liverpool's last five games have now been goalless at the break.
Into one additional minute.
UPA KEEPING THE EGYPTIAN KING AT BAY
© Trenka Attila via www.imago-images.de/imago images/PA Images
The Spaniard drops off Henderson in the box as Angelino swings in a cross, but he can't keep his header down.
Liverpool have the ball in the net but it won't count. Mane battles with Upamecano on the by-line and gets to the ball to put it back across goal for Firmino to head home, but the Senegal forward had only got there after the ball had crossed the line.
ROBERTSON HAS A GO
Gulacsi races off his line to cut out a ball through to Mane, but he's then almost caught out as left-back Robertson then goes for goal only a few yards over the halfway line. The Leipzig goalkeeper races back as the ball just clips the roof of the net. He hurt himself flying back into his goal, though, and needs a quick check.
Sabitzer finds Angelino, who whips in a ball looking for a teammate, but Henderson clears. And then the corner is headed out.
The speed of this game has been relentless in this opening half an hour. It's what you'd expect from two attacking teams.
Liverpool are growing in threat and now Firmino tries to tee up Mane in the middle. He gets up above Mukiele but also heads over the bar.
UPA GETS BACK
Salah is in behind once more but Upamecano has the pace to recover the pinch the ball away from the Liverpool forward.
The Leipzig captain is picked out with a great diagonal ball. He controls it on the edge of the box, gets it out of his feet and lets fly. Alisson saves by his post, though.
This time the Leipzig goalkeeper is called into action. Salah again running in behind, this time more central but Gulacsi stands up tall as the Egyptian tries to chip him on the run.
SALAH IN BEHIND
Thiago with a long ball up to Mo Salah, who's in behind but fails to pick out Firmino with his square ball as Klostermann cleans up.
© Laszlo Szirtesi/Getty Images
Two early cards for Amadou Haidara and Nordi Mukiele dished out by the Slovenian referee.
OFF THE POST!
Almost a perfect start for Leipzig but Dani Olmo is denied by the woodwork. It's spread wide to Angelino on the left and he chips a ball back towards the penalty spot, where Olmo gets his head to it but only sees it come back off the post.
The teams are out on the pitch in Budapest. Can Leipzig claim a first-leg advantage over Liverpool?
Leipzig have won nine of their 13 competitive matches since the end of the Champions League group stage and are now on 44 points after 21 matchdays, which is two more than this stage last season. Their last four results have all been wins, scoring 10 goals and only conceding one. In contrast, Liverpool have won only one of their 15 games in that time (D4, L6), including five losses in their last seven.
ZE ENGLISCH ARE COMING
RB Leipzig tend to enjoy their clashes with English opposition, winning three out of four games. Last season they beat Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 on aggregate in the Champions League last 16 on their way to reaching the semi-finals for the very first time. And earlier this campaign they claimed a 3-2 victory at home to Manchester United to leapfrog them in Group H and claim a place in the knockout stage.
SPECIAL NIGHT FOR GULACSILeipzig goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi, who has kept a league-best 10 clean sheets in the Bundesliga this season, will have been delighted when the draw for this round was made. The 30-year-old spent six years on the books at Liverpool but never made a first-team appearance. The excitement was then doubled with the news that this tie would be played in his home city of Budapest. "I was obviously happy when we learned that Budapest was a possibility as an alternative location. But in the end, it’s irrelevant and we want to get a good result. It’s our home leg,” he said at yesterday’s pre-match press conference.
© Simon Hofmann/Bundesliga/Bundesliga Collection via Getty Images
WATCH: NAGELSMANN LOOKING AHEAD TO TONIGHT'S CLASH
Liverpool make just the one change from their 3-1 defeat at Leicester City on Saturday. It sees former Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago replace the injured James Milner in the centre of the park. Former Hoffenheim forward Roberto Firmino continues to lead the attack, with new arrival from Schalke, Ozan Kabak, in alongside captain Jordan Henderson in the centre of defence. Former Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita misses out with an ankle problem.
It’s three changes for Leipzig from their 2-1 win over Augsburg on Friday. Dayot Upamecano returns in central defence after being rested, while captain Marcel Sabitzer and versatile American Tyler Adams also return after coming off the bench in the second half. Julian Nagelsmann is known for his unpredictable line-ups and this is another one of those. We have it as a 3-4-3 with Christopher Nkunku as the false 9, but you really never know with Nagelsmann.
Adrian, Kelleher, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Tsimikas, Shaqiri, Origi, Davies, R. Williams, Phillips, Cain, Clarkson, N. Williams
Alisson - Alexander-Arnold, Kabak, Henderson (c), Robertson - Thiago, Wijnaldum, Jones - Salah, Firmino, Mane
Martinez, Orban, Konate, Poulsen, Hwang, Sörloth, Samardzic, Kluivert, Halstenberg, Hartmann, Henrichs
Gulacsi - Mukiele, Upamecano, Klostermann - Adams, Sabitzer (c) Kampl, Angelino - Haidara, Olmo - Nkunku
Welcome along to today's coverage of RB Leipzig's UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg against champions of England Liverpool.
Leipzig have accounted for two English Premier League clubs in the last year alone. Julian Nagelsmann's side beat Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 on aggregate at the same stage of last season's competition, when they reached the semi-finals. A spirited 3-2 home win over Manchester United at the Red Bull Arena in their final Group H encounter took Die Roten Bullen into the knockouts once more - as runners-up behind beaten 2019/20 finalists Paris Saint-German - at the Red Devils' expense. Leipzig have only lost two of 13 competitive matches since that decisive December night, while their 2-1 home victory against Augsburg on Friday was their fourth on the spin. They're Bayern Munich's closest pursuers in the Bundesliga, and have a DFB Cup quarter-final with Wolfsburg to look forward to. It's little wonder Angelino - cast aside at Manchester City - jumped at the chance to make his loan deal permanent this past week. The pint-sized Spaniard is the club's top scorer in 2020/21 with seven goals - from left-wing-back at that - and one of 15 different Leipzig players to have found the net in all competitions so far this term. Bayern-bound Upamecano is one of them, though it's his defensive prowess on which his reputation as one of Europe's finest centre-backs under the age of 25 has been built. Leipzig boast the meanest defence in this season's Bundesliga, conceding just 18 goals in 21 matches.
Needless to say Liverpool could do without facing the toughest Bundesliga nut to crack. The defending Premier League champions have recorded one win in their last eight, while Saturday's 3-1 loss to Leicester City was their third in a row. They sit fourth, some 13 points behind leaders Man City, not helped by the second leakiest defence in the top half of the standings (32 conceded). Even with 14 rounds of fixtures remaining, head coach Jürgen Klopp - who won back-to-back Bundesliga crowns with Borussia Dortmund in 2010/11 and 2011/12 - has declared Liverpool's title defence as good as over. Salah scored his 23rd competitive goal of the campaign in the Leicester reverse, with former Hoffenheim forward Roberto Firmino providing the assist. He also struck three times as the Reds topped Champions League Group D on 13 points, two clear of second-placed Atalanta. Thiago Alcantara - a Champions League winner with Bayern last season - continues in midfield, while Schalke loanee Ozan Kabak makes his European debut for the club at the heart of an injury-hit defence still without Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho, Joe Gomez and Schalke academy graduate Joel Matip. The 'home' leg will be played on neutral soil, in Hungarian capital Budapest, after German authorities denied Liverpool entry into the country due to Covid-19 protocols.
Watch: Julian Nagelsmann looks ahead to Leipzig's meeting with Liverpool
- This is Leipzig's third Champions League campaign, all in the last four seasons, and their fourth in Europe overall. They are playing in the Champions League knockout rounds for the second successive year.
- Leipzig won all three of their home games in Group H, beating Istanbul Baseksehir 2-0, PSG 2-1 and Man Utd 3-2.
- Leipzig goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi was on the books at Liverpool between 2007 and 2013, but did not make a first-team appearance.
- Liverpool are in the Champions League for the 13th time. They won the competition for the sixth time in 2018/19.
- Klopp was a beaten finalist with Liverpool in 2017/18, and in 2012/13 when his Dortmund side lost the first all-German final 2-1 to Bayern at Wembley Stadium.
- Liverpool exited the 2019/20 competition in the last-16 to Atletico Madrid, whom Leipzig proceeded to beat 2-1 in their one-legged quarter-final in Lisbon.