Liverpool youngster Trent Alexander Arnold spearheads the Reds pursuit of the Champions league group stages with an exquisite free kick. Klopp’s side has one foot in the next round of the competition if they can successfully finish the job at Anfield in a weeks time.
It was a shaky start for visitors in their first appearance in the competition for three years and one that asked plenty of questions of the Liverpool defence early on. The home side was awarded a penalty 15 minutes in, Alberto Moreno’s high press left his team open at the back. Gnabry cantered down the right-hand flank cuts inside and is brought down from an awkward challenge from Dejan Lovren. Kramaric stepped up to take the spot kick, but his tame effort was easily saved by Simon Mignolet.
Liverpool went close with a chance their own a minute later, Salah was freed into a goalscoring position but pulled his shot just wide of the side netting. Salah was not the only attacking threat in the Reds arsenal. Sadio Mane, as usual, a key figure in applying pressure to the Hoffenheim rearguard and he made a severe crack in the back four. The Senegalese international squeezed through the tight gap with a penetrating run and looked certain to have a one on one opportunity with the goalkeeper, but a cynical challenge from Bicakcic gave Liverpool a free kick in a dangerous area.
The Merseyside Outfit had three men over the ball, Can, Moreno and Alexander Arnold and it was the latter that cooly stepped up, whipping the ball over the wall into the bottom right-hand corner. Baumann was stationary and all he could do was watch as the youngster opened his account in fine fashion.
After the interval, the visitors grew into the game and nearly had a second almost instantly. Mane’s pace again a frightening prospect for defences this season, he burst in behind and slid the ball across the face of the goal where Firmino drilled a low impulsive shot but was denied by the chest of Baumann. However, the Reds did extend their lead 15 minutes later another cynical foul prompted a free kick for Liverpool yet again. Only this time, they took it quickly Wijnaldum flicked the ball into the path of Roberto Firmino, who opened up the Hoffenheim defence with a low-cut ball to James Milner. The English International found himself in acres of space, a curled a crisp cross into the penalty area. Fortunately for him, his effort took a wicked deflection off Nordtveit and sailed past the helpless Baumann.
Although it was a sour note to end for Klopp’s side, his defence was caught lapping at the back and substitute Uth gave his side a glimmer of hope with a clinical pin-point finish just inside the penalty area. Despite a nervy finish, the Reds claimed a crucial away victory that keeps them on track to return to the Champions League group stages. Next up for the Liverpool boss and his side is a home fixture against Crystal Palace.
Man of the Match: Trent Alexander Arnold
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