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reds progress 'It has been tough' - Mohamed Salah's Liverpool verdict after Champions League win

Liverpool get back to winning ways in the Champions League


Lukas Klostermann of RB Leipzig battles for possession with Mohamed Salah of Liverpool. (Photo by David Balogh/Getty Images)

Lukas Klostermann of RB Leipzig battles for possession with Mohamed Salah of Liverpool. (Photo by David Balogh/Getty Images)

Lukas Klostermann of RB Leipzig battles for possession with Mohamed Salah of Liverpool. (Photo by David Balogh/Getty Images)

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah admitted his side have been rocked on to the ropes over the last couple of months, as he targeted a revival after they moved into the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

Jurgen Klopp's side put their domestic crisis behind them as a 2-0 win over RB Leipzig eased them into the quarter-finals of the Champions League in Budapest.

This was Reds’ designated ‘home’ fixture but their woeful Anfield form – where they had lost six in a row in the league – meant they were probably grateful coronavirus restrictions forced them to play in Hungary again.

And having waited more than 11 hours for a goal from open play at home two came along within the space of five second-half minutes as Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane – scoring the 100th Champions League goal in manager Jurgen Klopp’s 44th match in charge – made the tie safe with a 4-0 aggregate victory.

"It is a big result for us," declared Salah. "We came here after losing a few games in the Premier League. The team is not in the best shape but we want to fight in the Champions League and also fight in the Premier League and see what can happen.

"I would love to score more. I am happy I scored today and the team won, that is the most important thing."

When asked to explain the scale of Liverpool's demise since the turn of 2021, Salah suggested injuries were the chief problem, with Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip, Joe Gomez and Jordan Henderson among the senior players currently out with long term problems.

"We have had a few injuries this season, we have been unlucky but the most important thing is we have to keep fighting," he added. "We just have to take each game at a time and not look to the big picture because if you look to the big picture there can be too much pressure.

"It has been tough in the Premier League. It is part of the game. The last couple of years we were winning and flying, this year we have had injuries, it is hard. Hopefully, now we have two or three or four centre backs we can keep winning."

Klopp reserved special praise for his two centre-backs Ozan Kabak and Nat Phillips and he urged his side to draw confidence from their win in Budapest after six straight home defeats in the Premier League.

"The two centre halves played an incredible game," he said. "He whole last line played an incredible game because that is a tough task. We had to press them. We defended deep together really well which is important. Everybody had a really good game. It was a good performance.

"We created a lot of chances. That’s us at the moment – first half massive chances and couldn’t score. Again, the biggest and best thing the boys did is let nobody see how good Leipzig can be. They are a monster usually, they are so powerful and you saw all the runs in behind, but we defended that really well. Big compliment to the boys.

"We had to switch off that Premier League stuff, to get here and to give it a proper try. The boys really enjoyed themselves tonight, which is important. We were doing the hardest and the dirtiest work because it was a big defending challenge."

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