Liverpool will return to Budapest to play RB Leipzig in the their Champions League last-16 second leg match due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, European soccer’s governing body UEFA said on Thursday.
Liverpool, who beat Leipzig 2-0 in the first leg on February 16 in the Hungarian capital, cannot host Leipzig at Anfield because the Bundesliga team would have to undergo 10 days of isolation upon returning from the United Kingdom.
The first leg, originally scheduled to be held at the Red Bull Arena in Germany, was shifted to Budapest after German authorities denied Liverpool entry into the country due to COVID-19 protocols.
The second leg will now be held at the Puskas Arena on March 10.
“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,” UEFA said in a statement.
“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.”
Barcelona confirm Pique knee injury
Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has suffered a knee ligament sprain, the La Liga club announced on Thursday.
The centre back, who scored a last-minute equaliser to send Barca’s Copa del Rey semi-final with Sevilla to extra time on Wednesday, missed almost three months earlier this season with a knee problem. Barcelona won the tie 3-0 after extra time, overturning a 2-0 first-leg deficit.
“The medical assessment and tests performed this morning have shown that first team player Gerard Pique has a sprain in the internal lateral ligament of his right knee. He is therefore unavailable and the evolution of the injury will determine when he returns,” a club statement read.
Injuries have restricted the 34-year-old to just 15 appearances this season and local media have reported that Pique faces a further three weeks on the sidelines.
Barcelona visit Paris St Germain next Wednesday in their Champions League last-16 second leg, trailing 4-1 from the first meeting last month.