Liverpool’s 2-0 victory against Bundesliga high-flyers RB Leipzig, has secured a place in the last eight of the Champions League for the struggling Reds.

Holding on to a two-goal lead from the first leg, the Reds were in the ascendancy going into the second leg. However the club’s continued domestic problems would have provided Leipzig with an ever greater belief that they could turn the tie around.

Liverpool’s fall from Premier League grace has seen their European ambitions fade and they are now considered as outsiders to make the top four.

But whilst they struggle to find consistency in England’s top tier, Europe’s most prestigious trophy provides a final chance of redemption.

Europe’s elite are collectively struggling

As the footballing world tries to adapt and recover from the ongoing pandemic, Europe’s elite have seemingly lost their domestic dominance.

Bayern Munich sit a mere two points at the top of the Bundesliga, whilst Serie A, La Liga and Ligue 1 are all led by a team different than the usual suspects.

In the Premier League, Liverpool have failed to maintain the superiority that saw them win the division by 18 points last season, with Manchester City opening up a sizeable 14-point gap at the summit.

Pep Guardiola’s men are the only European powerhouse succeeding this season and are subsequently favourites to lift the Champions League come May.

Leipzig victory reminds Europe of the real Liverpool

The issue with setting such high standards is maintaining them. Proving to be the best team in Europe over the last couple of years, has resulted in expectation levels rising amongst Liverpool fans and rightly so.

Sitting seventh in the Premier League after losing six successive home league games, it would have been unimaginable at the start of the season, but this unexpected reality has hit the red side of Merseyside and has hit it hard.

Liverpool have cruised past RB Leipzig over the two legs, dominating both games and fully deserving of both victories. The German club reached last season’s semi-finals and are amidst an exciting Bundesliga title race, highlighting the calibre of opposition that the Reds have seemingly brushed past.

Liverpool’s injury crisis has been integral to their downfall of late, with Fabinho having to fill in at the back on numerous occasions. However, the Brazilian was handed a rare appearance in his favoured midfield role, forming a sublime partnership with summer signing Thiago.

It was not just the midfield that encouraged Liverpool fans last night, with solid performances across the backline, as Nat Phillips and Ozan Kabak formed the club’s eighth central defensive partnership of this Champions League campaign.

There were also bright performances in the attacking third, with Mo Salah and Sadio Mane both netting, and in truth, they should have scored at least one more each.

Liverpool’s season riding on Champions League glory

Ultimately, Champions League glory would eliminate most of the disappointment suffered this season.

Liverpool are three ties away from lifting the trophy and are the fourth favourites to do so. Ahead of the Reds in the betting odds are Man City, Bayern Munich, and PSG, but considering City’s and Les Parisiens’ European records, the Reds may possess a slight advantage.

Should the Champions League trophy not return to Merseyside, securing fourth spot in the league will become vital.

Liverpool are now seven points off Chelsea in the all-important fourth-place position, and with the Blues in terrific form since Thomas Tuchel arrived, their chances are diminishing.

The Reds could be confined to Europa League football next season. And even that, is not a certainty.

(Photo courtesy of Rept0n1x (29.9.12) – under Creative Commons Licence)