Liverpool vs. Red Bull Salzburg score: Reigning Champions League winners punch ticket to knockout stage

After a nervy first half, Liverpool pulled away with two goals in two minutes

Liverpool entered Tuesday's match at Red Bull Salzburg knowing that a loss would likely see them eliminated from the Champions League group stage. That would have seen them join Chelsea as the only reigning champ to crash out in the group stage the following season. Jurgen Klopp and company had other ideas. 

Despite a back-and-forth first half where each team had quality looks on goal, it was Liverpool that scored two goals in two minutes early in the second half to win to secure a 2-0 win, the top spot in Group E and a place in the knockout stage.

Battling an underrated Salzburg team coached by American Jesse Marsch, Liverpool could've led or been trailing at the break. But the goalkeepers put on quite the show in the first half to keep the game scoreless.

With Napoli beating Genk to also advance, Liverpool knew it would need at least a draw. The pressure increased for the Reds as they kept missing chances in the goal-less game, but they broke the ice shortly before the hour mark. Sadio Mane's brilliance down the left led to Naby Keita's opening goal against his former team in the 57th minute. A minute later, Mohamed Salah pulled off one of the goals of the tournament to essentially punch Liverpool's ticket to the round of 16.

Take a look:

From there, Red Bull Salzburg would need three goals to move on, but it wasn't meant to be. The result sends the hosts to the Europa League and the Reds back into the knockout stage once again.

CBS Sports was with you the entire way, providing analysis, highlights and more. You can relive Liverpool's win below.

Liverpool 2, Red Bull Salzburg 0 (FT)

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@LFC via Twitter
December 10, 2019, 7:40 PM
@LFC via Twitter
December 10, 2019, 7:21 PM

GOAL Salah!!!! 2-0!!!! A brilliant finish!!!!! Reds have to be through now!!!!

@LFC via Twitter
December 10, 2019, 7:10 PM

It's a goal against his former team with a fine header off a ball from Mane! Salzburg now needs two!

GOAL LIVERPOOL! NABY KEITA!!!!!

@LFC via Twitter
December 10, 2019, 7:06 PM
@LFC via Twitter
December 10, 2019, 7:04 PM

What a game this is! Salah denied at one end, and Haaland through on the other end that hits the side of the net.

Three golden chances for Salah, and he has missed them all. The longer this stays at 0-0, the more dangerous it gets.

@LFC via Twitter
December 10, 2019, 7:00 PM

What a first half. Goalkeepers the story so far. Each has made a pair of simply outstanding saves. With Napoli beating Genk, as things stand, it would be Napoli and Liverpool advancing.

Keita denied from close! It's another golden chance! This could be 2-2 at this point, yet it is 0-0. A great counter as Salah finds Keita. But it's a sensational save from Stankovic!

@LFC via Twitter
December 10, 2019, 6:41 PM
@LFC via Twitter
December 10, 2019, 6:37 PM
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