Hoffenheim 1-2 LIVERPOOL
Liverpool secured a victory in the first of two legs against Hoffenheim in the start of our return to Champions League football.
After a Premier League draw against Watford which had looked like victory but only to come away with a single point, it would have been understandable if Jurgen Klopp had decided to experiment with a new starting lineup at this early stage in the season.He did not make any major changes to that squad that face Watford, in fact it remained entirely identical. He must have an awful lot of faith in these players, especially the goalkeeper (Simon Mignolet) who had conceded three goals in one game.
Karius would only be substitute as we headed to Germany for our Champions League qualifying fixture.
Mignolet showed some improvement from his performance against Watford and after a clumsy challenge from Dejan Lovren, even saved a penalty from former Leicester attacker Andrej Kramaric. This is better, Simon. You stepped up at a vital point in the game when we could have started off losing and made sure that this would not happen.
Mignolet would be key in helping Liverpool maintain a 0-0 score line until we would first take a lead.
The first goal of the game would be special too. Trent Alexander-Arnold proved his quality and worth within the senior squad and showed us all how to take a free kick like a pro!
The 18-year-old fired in a stunning 30-yard free kick past a wall of defence and a helpless goalkeeper that could only watch the ball smash into the top corner of his net in the 35th minute, setting the tone for much of the rest of the game, making Liverpool the leading side as the score became Hoffenheim 0-1 LIVERPOOL.
It would be very late into the second half before any more goals were seen. We weren’t overwhelming the German side with multiple goals but we were at least asserting that we could take and keep a lead for long periods of time.
Around the 74th minute, James Milner’s cross was then deflected into Hoffenheim’s own net by Havard Nordtveit, making the score Hoffenheim 0-2 LIVERPOOL.
Liverpool had doubled their lead though it was not an easy cruise to the final whistle. Hoffenheim would eventually get a goal of their own when Mark Uth managed to score, though it had taken them until the 87th minute to do so. Hoffenheim 1-2 LIVERPOOL.
Liverpool had already inflicted enough damage from the 1st half onwards to accept this conceded goal and still claim a victory. We would hold on past injury time and make it to full time for the win.
Man of the Match
The stats for Trent Alexander Arnold are just amazing. He didn’t just put the ball into the net one time. He was BUSY, getting involved with the action, helping out his teammates with more than just a goal.
The youngster has taken his career to the next level. A senior squad goal on his record and on his Champions League debut, too. Impressive, considering that he’s “just” a defender. May he continue to emulate the successful defenders of Liverpool’s history including Alan Hansen, Jamie Carragher, Phil Thompson, Phil Neal and more who all impressed the fans in European competition before it was this young man’s turn to do the same.
Liverpool return to Anfield to play against Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Saturday and the return leg against Hoffenheim will be next Wednesday. We have plenty to look forward to. Walk on with hope in your hearts, Anfield Family. You’ll Never Walk Alone.
[written by] Stuart Drewery.
I’m an Englishman (born and raised in Liverpool in the 80s). My whole family including my parents and grandparents were Liverpool fans so I was born into being a red.
I’ve seen Liverpool win the league (more than 25 years ago) and I’ve been 100% loyal and committed while supporting the Reds through all the good times AND the bad times since the 80s.