Liverpool FC defeated RB Leipzig 0-2 in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League round-of-16 tie. The match took place at the Puskas Arena in Budapest on Tuesday, after it was chosen as an alternate "home" venue for the German side.

The goals came courtesy of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, who struck in quick succession in the 53rd and 58th minutes.

The victory comes as a big relief for the Reds, who have fallen into a crisis in their domestic campaign. After dominating the previous season, they are a shadow of their former selves. Just this month, they had recorded three straight losses in the Premier League. Hence, they came into the Champions League round-of-16 slightly deflated and with critics expecting the worst.

"A lot of people probably expected us to slip again because of the situation, and the boys didn't and I'm really happy about that," said Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.

He told the BBC that "For two years we've been really good and this year we have some problems. It's normal that the talks start - I have no problem with that. But the boys showed what they can do."

Leipzig almost never threatened the visitors, save for an early header by Dani Olmo that managed to hit the post. Salah was then able to show his full potential by creating a neat finish off a wobbly back pass form the opponents.

Another defensive error then allowed Mane to attack via a botched clearance.

The return leg will take place on March 10, where Liverpool will attempt to defend their advantage on home soil in Anfield. The club will be eager to advance, given the fact that they are almost certainly out of the Premier League race.

Last weekend, Klopp had already conceded that there is nearly no hope of defending their Premier League title. As it stands, they are in sixth place on the table, with a massive 13-point gap away from leaders Manchester City.

Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool are struggling just to make the Champions League next season after a third consecutive defeat at Leicester POOL / Michael Regan