After a difficult six weeks, Liverpool’s Champions League Round of 16 first-leg win over RB Leipzig provided a needed jolt of positivity. For Leipzig and manager Julian Nagelsmann, though, the loss on Tuesday wasn’t especially worrying.
That’s because as the upstart German manager sees it, his side weren’t poor on Tuesday evening—maybe were even the better side. And that gives them some positives to work with despite being down two goals in the two-legged tie.
“We were not two goals worse,” was Nagelsmann’s verdict “The big difference was we had three big chances and weren’t clinical enough. For the two big mistakes we committed we were punished, and at such a high level that’s normal.”
By the expected goals, at least, it was a closer game than the final scoreline perhaps suggested, with wasted chances by the Bundesliga side adding up to 1.2 expected goals to the Reds’ more clinically converted 1.8 expected goals.
Still, being down a pair of away goals is a big hill for Leipzig to climb in the second leg—set to be played in three weeks at Anfield but likely to be moved to a neutral location in a third country as last night’s was due to German travel regulations.
“We will see when and where the second leg will take place,” Nagelsmann added. “It’s not in my hands, not my decision. Maybe it’s again here—the stadium’s great, the pitch is fantastic—so it could be an idea if it can’t take place in Liverpool.
“We conceded two away goals so it won’t be easy. We have to score in the second game but I think we earned respect here. We have no other solution than being confident and try to do our best in the second game and try to win.”