Liverpool Thrashes Hoffenheim, Cruises Into Champions League Group Stage
Liverpool secured their place among Europe's elite clubs with a thrilling 4-2 win over Bundesliga side Hoffenheim at Anfield on Wednesday evening. The Reds won the Champions League playoff tie 6-3 on aggregate.
Goals from Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and an Emre Can brace secured a famous victory for Liverpool, whilst Hoffenheim players Uth and Wagner grabbed the German side consolations either side of half time.
Liverpool took the lead in the 10th minute following a perfectly timed back-heel from Sadio Mane into the path of Germany international Emre Can. The box-to-box midfielder calmly slotted the ball into the back of the net to give the home-side a deserved lead.
Liverpool continued to put Hoffenheim under pressure and they were rewarded with a second goal for their efforts. Georginio Wijnaldum burst into the box and whipped a fierce shot against the post. Fortunately for the Reds, the ball fell to the feet of Salah - who clinically doubled Liverpool's lead in the 18th minute.
Liverpool sealed their place in the next phase of the Champions League with a third goal in the first half. Emre Can grabbed his second goal of the game following a pin-point cross by the Brazilian Roberto Firmino, Hoffenheim keeper Baumann could do nothing but watch as Can scored again.
However, Liverpool were denied a clean-sheet by Uth who found himself in space and fired the ball past Simon Mignolet for the second time in 8 days, following his goal in the first-leg for Hoffenheim.
Firmino added to his former club's nightmare by scoring Liverpool's fourth following Jordan Henderson unselfishly sliding the ball across to the him. The Brazilian then calmly slotted the ball into an empty net as Anfield erupted into further celebration.
Hoffenheim striker Sandro Wagner was the last man to get his name on the scoresheet in the 6-goal thriller. The German striker flicked a reverse header into the back of Simon Mignolet's net to leave the score 4-2 on the night and 6-3 on aggregate.
Liverpool can now look forward to the Champions League group stage draw knowing if they can recreate performances like this display shown against Hoffenheim, no one in Europe's elite club competition will want to travel to Anfield.