Liverpool knew the score and the scene when it walked into Red Bull Arena Salzburg for a UEFA Champions League decider versus Jesse Marsch’s Austrian champs, so they weren’t surprised when it remained 0-0 nearing the hour mark.
[ RECAP: Salzburg 0-2 Liverpool ]
“We knew they were trying to make history for their club,” said Andy Robertson (video at bottom). “They feel as if they’re a Champions League team and they are very confident. It was all about coming here, riding that wave, and we had the biggest chances in the first 45. We knew if we kept going chances would come.”
A pair of former Red Bull Salzburg players changed the fortunes of their current and former club, as Sadio Mane and Naby Keita scored within two minutes to provide the lone goals of the game and a spot for the Reds in the UCL knockout rounds.
“Both were excellent. It appears [Salzburg] produce some very good players. Keïta, in particular, was very good. I moved him to the ten and that improved his performance. He was a bit tired towards the end but very good.”
Mane admitted it was both a joy to return and a bit bittersweet to be tasked with ousting the club which catapulted him to the attention of PL suitors Southampton.
“Always nice to come back here because it’s where everything started for me and really grateful to this club and the fans,” Mane said. “Sorry guys, but it’s football we have to do it, and that’s it.”