Klopp hails ‘exceptional’ Reds for ‘controlling’ RB Leipzig

Date published: Tuesday 16th February 2021 10:52 - James Holland

Jurgen Klopp Liverpool

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has praised his team for ‘controlling’ RB Leipzig in their 2-0 away victory.

The Reds took charge of their Champions League round of 16 tie with two second half goals.

Mo Salah scored his 24th goal of the season in the 53rd minute.

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He pounced on a wayward backpass from Marcel Sabitzer before calmly finishing past the keeper.

Sadio Mane doubled Liverpool’s lead just five minutes later. This time it was Nordi Mukiele at fault, who failed to deal with a Curtis Jones clearance.

Mane raced towards goal and fired his shot home, giving Liverpool control of the match.

Speaking after the win, Klopp told BT Sport (via BBC Sport): “It was the game we wanted, the game we needed, tonight.

“Leipzig can be a real monster, they overrun teams, really physical, pretty much good in everything, and tonight we controlled them in an exceptional way to be honest.

“You cannot build ‘mentality giants’ in one game. Tonight we were good, we deserved to win, it’s nice but it’s only one leg.”

When asked about their recent form, Klopp continued: “A lot of people were waiting for us to slip again, but we didn’t.

“A lot of people probably expected us to slip again because of the situation.

“And the boys didn’t and I’m really happy about that.”

Klopp was also asked if criticism of the players had spurred them on to win. He responded: “I don’t think that motivation really works like this, but we all know it.

“It was clear for two years we were really good, then we had some problems this year, and the talk starts. That’s normal and we are happy with the win.”

Liverpool will play RB Leipzig in the return leg on Wednesday 10th March at Anfield.

They will be aiming to reach the quarter-finals of the competition which they won in 2018/19.

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