Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane were both on target as Liverpool returned to form with a much-needed 2-0 victory over RB Leipzig in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 clash.
The Premier League champions have been a pale shadow of their former selves in recent weeks, leading Klopp to admit their league title defence was over following a third straight loss at Leicester at the weekend.
However, the Merseysiders looked sharp and hungry from the first whistle in Budapest and went close through Salah, Mane and Andy Robertson in what was a dominant first-half showing.
In-form Leipzig, who were having to host the contest in Hungary as a result of COVID-19 travel restrictions, were on the back foot for long spells but did see an early Dani Olmo header come back off the post.
Liverpool continued to press and cause problems in the second period and eventually got their reward on 53 minutes. Salah pounced on an error from Marcel Sabitzer to run through and drill home his 24th goal of the season. It was the Egyptian’s seventh goal in seven games and saw him become the club’s 13th highest scorer in history with 118 in total.
The visitors then doubled their advantage just five minutes. This time Mane took advantage of Nordi Mukiele’s misjudgement to charge clear and claim his 11th goal of the campaign and his 20th in all European competitions for the club.
Leipzig pressed to try and reduce the arrears in the latter stages but couldn’t find a way through a determined visiting defence.
Liverpool will now look towards the small matter of Saturday’s Merseyside derby at home to Everton in a more confident mood. The second leg with Leipzig will take place at home on March 10 with Klopp’s men now heavy favourites to progress.