Liverpool and RB Leipzig return to Budapest for Champions League clash

Liverpool and RB Leipzig WILL return to Budapest for the second leg of their Champions League last-16 clash, with the Bundesliga side unable to play at Anfield because they would have to quarantine upon their return

  • Liverpool beat RB Leipzig 2-0 in Budapest in their first leg of their last-16 clash
  • Both sides will return to the Puskas Arena to finish their Champions League tie
  • UEFA confirmed the decision on Thursday after considering a number of venues
  • Leipzig are unable to play at Anfield due to Germany’s Covid quarantine rules
  • A number of clubs have had to use neutral venues during the knockout stages 

Liverpool and RB Leipzig will return to Budapest for the second leg of their last-16 Champions League clash, it has been confirmed.

The Premier League giants and their Bundesliga opponents met on neutral territory in the Hungarian capital last month after Germany’s Covid rules prevented Jurgen Klopp’s side from entering the country.

And despite a number of venues and countries being considered for what should’ve been Liverpool’s home leg at Anfield, Budapest’s Puskas Arena has been selected for the second time.

Liverpool and RB Leipzig will return to the Puskas Arena in Budapest for their second leg 

The Reds won 2-0 at the same venue in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie

Leipzig are unable to travel to England because they would have to enter 10 days of quarantine upon their return to Germany.

Instead, the second leg will be played at the same venue as the first on March 10, with Liverpool holding a 2-0 lead after goals from Mo Salah and Sadio Mane.

In a statement, UEFA said: ‘UEFA is able to officially confirm that the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg match between Liverpool FC and RB Leipzig will now be played at the Puskas Arena in Budapest. The date of the match and the kick-off time will remain the same.

‘UEFA would like to express its gratitude to Liverpool FC and RB Leipzig for their support and close cooperation, as well as the Hungarian Football Federation for their assistance and agreeing to stage the match.

Mo Salah celebrates after opening the scoring against Leipzig in the first leg on February 16

UEFA reportedly considered moving the tie to the Feyenoord Stadium in Rotterdam, but that idea was blocked by the Dutch government.

Italy’s Stadio Friuli, home to Udinese, was another possibility, while other venues in Cyprus and Romania were deemed unwise because it is a longer flight than the trip to Budapest.

Germany’s current travel restrictions are due to be reviewed on Friday, but the decision to move the game has already been made.

Jurgen Klopp (left) and Julian Nagelsmann (right) have both had to give up home advantage

It means Liverpool will give up home advantage just as Leipzig did for the first leg, but the use of neutral venues has been widespread in the latter stages of European competition so far.

Manchester City’s last-16, first leg tie against Borussia Monchengladbach was also played at the Puskas Arena, while Chelsea took on Atletico Madrid in the Romanian capital of Bucharest.

Manchester United and Arsenal both played on neutral grounds in their Europa League last-32 ties, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men playing Real Sociedad in Turin and the Gunners playing Benfica in Rome and Piraeus. 

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