Liverpool put their domestic struggles to one side as they gained the upper hand in their Champions League last-16 tie against RB Leipzig with a 2-0 victory in the first leg in Budapest.

Three successive Premier League defeats led to Reds manager Jurgen Klopp conceding their title defence is over, but they have taken a giant stride towards the quarter-finals of Europe's premier club competition.

Both Liverpool goals came via Leipzig errors, with Mohamed Salah latching on to a woeful back pass by Marcel Sabitzer to slot home in the 53rd minute, and Sadio Mane doing likewise five minutes later after Nordi Mukiele's slip-up. 

The nominal visitors - this game had to take place in the Hungarian capital because of restrictions on travel into Germany due to coronavirus - were given a let-off early on when Dani Olmo headed against a post.

Substitute Hwang Hee-chan put wide late on but a makeshift Liverpool defence low on confidence kept only the team's second clean sheet in their last 11 matches against a side that reached the Champions League semi-finals last term.


Leipzig had reached this stage by eliminating Manchester United, but a side that has the best home record in this season's Bundesliga looked uncomfortable away from their Red Bull Arena fortress. 

Afterwards Liverpool captain Henderson hailed the Reds' return to winning ways but insisted Klopp's men cannot rest on their laurels with the second leg still to come.

"It was an important game for us, a tough game, but we're really happy with the performance overall, obviously to score the goals and keep a clean sheet was good for us," Henderson told BT Sport.

"From start to finish defensively throughout the team we pressed really well, won the ball back and looked dangerous going forward.

"It's a pleasing performance, a good win, but it's only half the job done.

"I thought the lads reacted well to the missed chances, kept going, kept probing and finally got our reward with the goals.

"But it's only half job done."