“Unity is strength” for level-headed Reds who maintain ‘only half the job is done’

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The Reds were back “to believing until the end” in their 2-0 win over Leipzig, but Jurgen Klopp‘s men remained grounded as they are well aware the job is only halfway done.

Liverpool swapped the Premier League for the Champions League on Tuesday and the change in scenery proved revitalising as a return to the winner’s board eventuated.

Klopp’s side were energetic and ensured Leipzig hardly had space to breathe, establishing the perceived pressure which forced mistakes to be ruthlessly punished.

Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane were the ones to etch their names on the scoresheet in a much improved performance, setting solid foundations for the second leg of the last-16 tie.

After a tough slog in recent weeks, the victory was a welcome one for players and fans alike and while Jordan Henderson welcomed making a “step in the right direction,” his feet remained firmly planted on the ground.

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - Tuesday, February 16, 2021: Liverpool's Sadio Mané celebrates with team-mates after scoring the second goal during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 1st Leg game between RB Leipzig and Liverpool FC at the Puskás Aréna. (Pic by Propaganda)

Speaking to BT Sport post-match, the captain stressed the desire to simply focus on the immediate future rather than looking too far ahead after one positive result:

“Listen, we just want to keep going, keep fighting every time we play.

“There’s a lot of difficult situations throughout the season but I think we’ve just got to keep going every single game, take one step at a time.

“Tonight was a good step in the right direction for us and we need to continue that with our form and performance level. If we continue that then we’ll get some good results along the way.”

It was a sentiment echoed by Mane, who scored his 11th goal of the season, as the winger was eager to keep a “game by game” focus when speaking to DAZN.

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - Tuesday, February 16, 2021: Liverpool's Sadio Mané celebrates after scoring the second goal as RB Leipzig's goalkeeper Pe?ter Gula?csi looks dejected during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 1st Leg game between RB Leipzig and Liverpool FC at the Puskás Aréna. (Pic by Propaganda)

The No. 10 also rightly pointed to the return of Liverpool’s ability to ‘believe until the end’ after late crumbles in recent weeks:

“It’s a really, really tough time for us. Now, you can realise how winning is really important but it is part of football and this kind of moment happens and will happen again.

“Sometimes we are unlucky and it’s part of football, I think today we showed another character which for us which is really important to believe until the end.

“I think this win is extra motivation for us, but we have many games ahead of us but the most important thing is to take it game by game and try to win [the Champions League], is possible.”

The victory in Budapest was one, rightly, to savour for the Reds post-match, but a common theme was apparent.

It was a case of acknowledging there is “still unfinished business” with “only half the job done” in the two-legged tie for Trent, Curtis Jones and Henderson:

Thiago, meanwhile, sent out a message that will resonate with many of the Liverpool faithful; “unity is strength”:

It was a case of a job “well done” for Roberto Firmino, Andy Robertson and Neco Williams as they each relished that winning feeling:

And the good vibes continued with Gini Wijnaldum and Ozan Kabak, the latter of whom was celebrating his first win and clean sheet in Liverpool colours in what was his European bow for the club:

The result against Leipzig is one which will no doubt provide a much-needed spring in the Reds’ step, but it by no means suggests the tie is done and dusted as noted by the players.

It must now be used as a springboard heading into the Merseyside derby at Anfield on Saturday, a game where three points are a must in the midst of a top-four battle.

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