Liverpool, PSG reach Champions League quarters

- Copyright © africanews AP Photo

With its Premier League title defense in tatters, Liverpool kept its last chance of a trophy alive by beating Leipzig 2-0 Wednesday to reach the Champions League quarterfinals.

Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané scored Liverpool’s goals to complete a 4-0 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.

A string 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.

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Boss ❤️ <a href=””></a></p>&mdash; Liverpool FC (@LFC) <a href=””>March 10, 2021</a></blockquote> <script async src=”” charset=”utf-8″></script>

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.

PSG triumph against FC Barcelona
Paris Saint-Germain withstood early pressure from a much-improved but wasteful Barcelona side to draw 1-1 on Wednesday and reach the quarterfinals of the Champions League.

PSG lead 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.

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>FULL-TIME: <a href=””>@PSG_English</a> 1-1 FC Barcelona. <br><br>Aggregate: 5-2<br><br>We progress into the quarter finals of the <a href=””>@ChampionsLeague</a> ? ?<a href=”;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#UCL</a> | <a href=”;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#PSGFCB</a> <a href=”″></a></p>&mdash; Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) <a href=””>March 10, 2021</a></blockquote> <script async src=”” charset=”utf-8″></script>

That goal was firmly against the run of play and, after Barca 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 on Tuesday.

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>❝Now we have to fight for the other titles.❞<br> — <a href=””>@Pedri</a> <a href=””></a></p>&mdash; FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) <a href=””>March 10, 2021</a></blockquote> <script async src=”” charset=”utf-8″></script>

  Source: Africanews