Liverpool's confidence, which has been brittle in recent weeks after a poor run of form, took a turn for the better after Tuesday's night's 2-0 win over RB Leipzig in the Champions League.

Second-half goals from Mo Salah and Sadio Mane in Budapest put Jurgen Klopp's side in pole position ahead of the return leg of this last-16 clash on 10 March. 

In assessing the game, RTÉ pundit Richie Sadlier felt Liverpool went some of the way to addressing the notion that they now have a 'soft underbelly'. No clean sheets in seven, defensive errors and three consecutive defeats, was the evidence that the reigning Premier League champions had lost much of their sheen. 

"You have to give Liverpool credit for the way they pressed in anticipating mistakes and the way they capitalised in what was a fully deserved win," was Sadlier's summation of the job done in the Hungarian capital.

"We said at half-time that the message in the Liverpool dressing-room would be to emphasise the message to really concentrate, to maintain concentration and to cut out silly errors. That message wasn't repeated in Leipzig as they were the ones who were made the mistakes. 

"I thought at the end of the game they were spells where Liverpool kept the ball and managed the game really well. They were not hanging on for 2-0 and while the two away goals were massively important in the leg, I think within the dressing-room that clean sheet will mean a hell of a lot to them."

Liverpool will now hope to kick on, starting with Everton at home in the Premier League on Saturday.

For Sadlier, it's an opportunity to banish negative perceptions.

"For all the criticisms and doubts about the team, it wasn't about the performances of the back four and the midfield in front of them, but collectively were they looking a bit weak? 

"We starting to hear the phrase 'soft underbelly', what we were hearing about Arsenal for years. That phrase was repeated over the last number of weeks. No sign of that night tonight." 

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