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Liverpool booked their place in the Champions League quarterfinals with another 2-0 win over RB Leipzig in Budapest on Wednesday, on this occasion earning their first 'home' win of 2021 thanks to second-half goals from Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.

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The Reds had endured a woeful run of form since winning the first leg on the road last month, extending their Premier League losing streak at Anfield to six games and slipping seven points off the top four. That might mean that winning the Champions League is their best chance of returning to the competition next season. On tonight's evidence their candidacy ought not to be completely discounted for all that injuries have left their defense bereft.

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Though Alisson saved well from Dani Olmo early in the first half it was Liverpool who created the best chances but familiar home issues plagued them as Thiago, Diogo Jota, Mane and Salah all spurned presentable chances before the break.

It took Leipzig much of the second half to find any attacking quality but Alexander Sorloth's header off the bar on 65 minutes was a reminder of how tenuous Liverpool's lead might become with just one mistake or moment of brilliance. Perhaps that roused the Reds out of the torpor as their front three finally clicked, Jota teeing up Salah whose low shot was too accurate for Peter Gulacsi.

As had been the case in the first leg one Liverpool goal soon brought another, substitute Divock Origi crossing low for Mane to kill off any lingering hope Leipzig might have had of netting three goals in 16 minutes.

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Liverpool player ratings

AlissonHe saved superbly from Olmo early in the contest, but it is fair to say he does not radiate the authority he once did, coming out flying for a cross from the right after 20 minutes that he would have needed arms twice as long to reach.

Rating: 6

Trent Alexander-ArnoldDespite facing the more attack-minded Christopher Nkunku on his flank, Alexander-Arnold did not hesitate to get forward and did so effectively until it got to the killer moment, where he was too often guilty of taking that one extra touch that gave Leipzig time to recover.

Rating: 6

Nathaniel PhillipsMaybe it was just the bandage on his head that made him seek out the aerial duels and one-on-ones with Yussuf Poulsen but to Phillips credit he dealt excellently with the pressure that came his way.

Rating: 8

Ozan KabakForming Liverpool's eighth center-back pairing in eight Champions League games, Kabak didn't look like a borderline stranger among his teammates. His eye for a long pass is very encouraging and he rarely seems to be in anything but the right position.

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Rating: 7

Andrew RobertsonA relatively quiet night for the Scot, who was able to avoid much of the pressure that came down the Liverpool right. He was lucky that a missed header in the 65th minute was not punished by Sorloth.

Rating: 6

FabinhoHe has been a more than adequate center-back in his six-month sojourn at the back but tonight was a reminder of why he might be one of the best anchormen in the world. When needed he would drop back into the area to win a header or clear a cross but he was more effective at blocking attacks on source, tackling robustly and holding his ground.

Rating: 8

ThiagoWithout quite so much defensive responsibility Thiago looked like Thiago again. There was even something typically him about wasting an excellent shooting chance by attempting too cute a pass for Mohamed Salah. He got the delivery wonderfully right with a scissor-kicked through ball that Salah and Sadio Mane somehow contrived to not turn into a goal.

Rating: 8

Georginio WijnaldumAnother who thrived further up the pitch, Wijnaldum was more direct and swift in his passing than he has been in months. Every pass he attempted in the attacking third found its man and this was not because of safety-first distribution although his best pass, a glorious lob in behind for Mane to volley over, was ruled out for the tightest of offsides.

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Rating: 7

Mohamed SalahIt said everything about his recent troubles that even when he got everything right in the build-up as he darted down the left he somehow managed to put the ball straight at Gulacsi. Still Salah and the rest of the front three only needed to click once and they did so in the 70th minute when he drove smartly into the bottom corner.

Rating: 7

Diogo JotaWith the forwards either side of him struggling early on Jota offered welcome directness to Liverpool's front line, driving at the Leipzig defense every time the ball came his way. Still Liverpool's finishing curse clearly got to him as he managed to put what seemed like a tap in into the side netting.

Rating: 7

Sadio ManeAfter a quiet game where his recent scoring troubles seemed to be getting him down he took a good chance quite excellently, volleying in Origi's cross with the outside of his right boot. This was certainly not Mane at his best in an attacking sense but he pressed with the same vigor as he always does.

Rating: 7

Divock Origi (sub, Jota, 71')Liverpool's big European night specialist came up trumps again even if his services probably weren't required, getting an assist with a smart low cross for Mane.

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Rating: 6

Naby Keita (sub, Thiago, 71')A neat and tidy cameo off the bench, albeit one in which Mane's goal soon after his introduction removed much intensity from the contest.

Rating: 5

Manager - Jurgen KloppHis decision to trust Phillips at the back and move Fabinho into midfield was vindicated in impressive fashion, even if it did beg the question as to why the Brazilian has not been putting back in his best role at any stage over the last six months. Regardless he got it right on the night and his side had chances for an even more convincing win.

Rating: 7

RB Leipzig player ratings

Peter Gulacsi: A good showing in the first half and his positioning helped keep things scoreless until the wheels fell off the backline in the second half.

Rating:

7

Nordi Mukiele: Good first half despite the pressure from Liverpool, covered lots of ground while going into strong individual battles.

Rating: 6

Dayot Upamecano: Had some tense moments in close encounters during the first half, but struggled to keep Liverpool's attack at bay.Rating: 5

Lukas Klostermann: Helped hold things down in the back line, and did well to find passing lanes to try and spearhead attacks.

Rating: 6

Kevin Kampl: Was largely tasked with trying to disrupt Liverpool's pressure on the day but struggled a bit before finding his footing in the match and was subbed off at halftime.Rating: 5Tyler Adams: The American was tasked with playing higher in an effort to help the team generate offense. Covered lots of ground while also defending against Liverpool.

Rating: 6

Christopher Nkunku: Has been in top form as of late but was unable to nail the finishing touch. Remained active for the team all

match.

Rating: 6

Dani Olmo: Most creative for the team during the first half with lots of good link-up play, did well to find passing lanes where there were none at times subbed out at the 72nd minute.

Rating: 7

Marcel Sabitzer: Had to cover lots of ground against Liverpool's pressure. Played connector and disrupter, but was unable to truly help generate attacking options

.

Rating: 6

Yussuf Poulson: Needed to provide more in the attack for the team; a rather quiet day on the pitch. Was subbed out at the hour mark.

Rating: 5

Emil Forsberg: Had some good movement off the ball, but overall little impact in the final third. Was subbed off at the hour mark.

Rating: 5

Alexander Sorloth (sub, Kampl, 46'): Got involved in generating attack, had a header off the post.

Rating: 6

Justin Kluivert (sub, Forsberg, 60'): Was subbed on for Forsberg to try and make an impact in the final third.

Rating: 5.5

Hee-Chan Hwang (sub, Poulsen, 60'): Subbed on for Poulsen who had a rather quiet match for the team on the top line, got involved in attack immediately, provided service to Sorloth on his header attempt.Rating: 5.5

Amadou Haidara (sub, Olmo, 72'): Was subbed on in the final 15 minutes for Olmo as an extra attacking option, not enough time to have a big impact but had good positioning.

Rating: 5

Manager - Julian Nagelsmann: Minor changes from the first leg with an injury to Angelino, made a change at half-time and the hour mark to try and keep the team in the match.

Rating: 6

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