Champions League rivals will fancy chances against Liverpool despite RB Leipzig win, claims Man Utd legend Rio Ferdinand

Champions League rivals will fancy chances against Liverpool despite RB Leipzig win, claims Man Utd legend Rio Ferdinand

February 17, 2021

RIO FERDINAND has warned Liverpool teams will still fancy their chances against Jurgen Klopp’s side in the Champions League despite brushing RB Leipzig aside 2-0 on Tuesday night.

The Reds banished their shocking league form to one side as goals from Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane put them in the driving seat of the last-16 tie.

The Bundesliga side now face a deficit heading to Anfield later this month – with the first leg played in Hungary due to coronavirus travel restrictions.

But while fans were heralding a return to form for Liverpool, Manchester United legend Ferdinand believes teams will still be targeting their under-powered defence.

He said on BT Sport: "I think other teams who are looking at them won't be too carried away with the way Liverpool played today because they've still going to get chances.

"I think Leipzig could have had one or two goals, if you're being hugely critical. They were getting in."

Kop boss Jurgen Klopp was delighted with his side’s efforts despite Ferdinand’s criticism.

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He said, post-match: “It was a tough game. Only two games in between our last game, long flight. Flight back, arrive at 3 O'clock or something and just recover.

"You cannot build mentality giants in one game but tonight we were good. We deserved to win.

"I know that a lot of people were waiting for us to slip again but the boys didn't so I'm really happy."

The Premier League champions lie a disappointing sixth in the table after three domestic defeats on the bounce.

The defence – as Ferdinand pointed out – has come in for the most scrutiny after star man Virgil van Dijk was injured against Everton.

And while the Europe win was a step in the right direction, Anfield legend Jamie Carragher backed up Ferdinand’s view that the result does not mean his former side are back to their imperious best.

He said: “I saw a Liverpool performance that I have seen in the last few weeks. Liverpool's energy, the pressing has been there for a few weeks and it was there from the start.

“I am not trying to take anything away from that result. That's a magnificent result. That team (Leipzig) is just behind (Bayern) Munich in the Bundesliga and they did really well in the Champions League last season.

“But the actual goals scored were on the back of mistakes and they (Liverpool) were clinical. They still didn't create an awful lot in the game. Again, I am not being critical.

“But they haven't created an awful lot. Then one mistake, the ball has gone into the opposition net, and… they got away with it because of the goalkeeper at 0-0.

“For how well Liverpool played tonight, they still didn't create an awful lot tonight themselves. For me, going forward that's still a problem.”

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