Mo Salah And Mané Score For Liverpool To Book A Spot At Champions League Quarterfinals, Barcelona Out

by Duke Magazine

With the defense of their Premier League title in shambles this season, Liverpool F.C. kept its last last hope winning a trophy alive by beating Leipzig 2-nil on Wednesday to reach the Champions League quarterfinals.

Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané were on the scoring sheet for Liverpool to complete their 4-nil win on aggregate. Liverpool ended its run of six defeats in home games, at least technically, as Jürgen Klopp’s team was officially the host at the neutral Puskas Arena in Hungary.

Klopp said Liverpool succeeded by forgetting about the collapse of its campaign in England, where the team is 25 points off the league lead.

“We had to switch off the Premier League stuff to get here and give it a proper try. The boys really enjoyed themselves tonight which is important,” Klopp told broadcaster BT Sport.

In the match, A myriad of saves by goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi, once a Liverpool player, kept Leipzig in contention before Salah made the breakthrough in the 70th minute. Salah lined up a low shot tucked inside the right post after Diogo Jota showed smart movement on the counter to create space for Salah before passing to the Egypt forward.

However, as Leipzig, which surprisingly reached the semifinals last season tried to find a way back into the game four minutes later, substitute Divock Origi found space on the right flank to cross low for Mané to tap in.

Meanwhile, Paris Saint-Germain withstood early pressure from a much-improved but wasteful Barcelona side to a lone goal draw to also reach the quarterfinals of the Champions League.

PSG led 4-1 from the first leg of their round-of-16 game and moved four goals clear when Kylian Mbappe, who scored a hat trick at Camp Nou, netted with a confident penalty in the 31st minute.

That goal was firmly against the run of play and, after Barcelona had squandered possession and chances, Messi equalized in the 37th with a powerful shot from 25 meters that tore into the top left corner.

But the six-time Golden Ball winner then had a penalty saved by goalkeeper Keylor Navas on the stroke of halftime, his first miss from the spot in the Champions League since 2015.

It is the first time since 2005 that neither Messi nor his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo have reached the last eight of the competition, following Juventus’ exit in the hands of F.C. Porto on Tuesday.

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