Liverpool produced an early flurry that rattled German visitors Hoffenheim to ensure a passage into the Champions League Group Stage.
Jurgen Klopp’s Reds were 3-0 up inside 21 minutes thanks to an Emre Can brace and Mohamed Salah tap-in, with the fluid front-three of Liverpool running wild on an out-of-sorts Hoffenheim defence to finish 6-3 winners on aggregate.
Liverpool now look forward to the Champions League Group Stage Draw, which takes place at 5pm BST/12pm ET on Thursday, August 24.
The Belgian seldom inspires much confidence between the sticks, and caused the home fans a few heart palpitations when he completely missed an attempt to punch the ball and nearly spilled a catch on the follow-up. Well beaten by Marc Uth’s strike and left stranded for Sandro Wagner’s header.
Combined nicely with Mohamed Salah on the right flank and enjoyed the occasion. The 18-year-old continues to impress for Liverpool.
Gave the ball away cheaply in the build-up to Marc Uth’s goal and was beaten in the air by Sandro Wagner for Hoffenheim’s second. Always seems to be a mistake somewhere around the corner with the Croatian.
Read the game well with four interceptions, some of which were high up the pitch as Liverpool squeezed Hoffenheim into their own half. Easily the more convincing of the two centre-halves.
It might be a while before we can say that Alberto Moreno has completed his renaissance at Liverpool, but he is certainly on the right track after another bright display. Bags of pace going forward and was often a decoy out wide as Sadio Mane cut inside.
Captain’s performance. Won more tackles (5) than any other Liverpool player, often nipping in on the cover, and looked to drive his team forward from deep. Stole possession off Kevin Vogt high up the pitch and squared up Roberto Firmino for the tap-in.
A much-needed improvement on his recent showings. Georginio Wijnaldum played the key pass for the third goal, a surgical incision through the heart of Hoffenheim’s midfield and defence from deep, but should have done better when put through on goal in the second half.
Could easily have finished the game with a hattrick; opened the scoring with a slightly-deflected shot into the bottom corner, applied the finish to Roberto Firmino’s cross and curled a shot just wide of the post when he found some space on the left flank. Enjoying the freedom he gets in Jurgen Klopp’s free-flowing system.
What a crucial player Sadio Mane has turned out to be for Liverpool. His pace and trickery on the flanks was too much to handle for the Hoffenheim defenders, who were either beaten by his direct runs to the byline or by his crafty footwork to dribble inside and backheel to overlapping teammates. Did everything but get on the scoresheet.
Found the net with a simple close-range finish in what was ultimately a decent showing from the Egyptian, but he perhaps hasn’t quite kicked into gear just yet.
A playmaking masterclass from the Brazilian and a perfect example of why he needs to play through the middle. Always a step ahead in his thought process and has the technical ability to match; played through an early opening for Sadio Mane, who fired straight at the keeper, and found Georginio Wijnaldum in space in the lead-up to the second goal. Got an assist for Emre Can’s second and capped off a brilliant display with a simple tap-in.