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Liverpool 4-2 Hoffenheim – Match report & players rating.


4-2 and we’re back amongst Europe’s finest. 4-2 and the Reds were boss.

It is no exaggeration to say that Wednesay night Liverpool played one of the biggest games in the past few years. Yes, we were 2-1 up after the 1st leg and yes qualifying to Champions  League Group Stage was the minimum requirement but imagine if the worst happened…

The Reds though never imagined that, the Kop was bouncing 20 minutes before the kick off and the sense of excitement was a unique one, that you can only get on a European Night at Anfield.

The game started and by the 4th minute Sadio Mane already missed a huge chance. Gnabry for Hoffenheim misses an absolute sitter at the Kop end although it was flagged as an offside.

Then all it took was 10 majestic minutes from Jurgen’s boys, Sadio Mane backheels to Emre Can for 1-0, Bobby Firmino sets up Gini who then hits the post and Salah puts the rebound in. Emre Can gets at the end of Bobby Firmino’s cross and finishes a beautiful move.

3-0 by 20 and it’s all over. 3-0 by 20 and the stadium is bouncing with a beautiful rendition of ” Show them the way to go home ” . Oh the joy when the Reds are playing like this. Between  20 and half time Hoffenheim pulls one back after a Lovren’s mistake, Can is a whisker away from getting his hat trick and Mane gets an amazing response when asking the crowd to be loud after he received some stick from the away fans.

It’s all joy and smiles and i’m joking with my mates we should play Moreno as a striker. 2nd half the atmosphere quiets down and the Reds are half thinking of the Arsenal match on Sunday.

It always felt we could score 6 or 7 but there was no need for it.

Jordan Henderson is having a boss game all over the pitch and leaves Bobby Firmino with an empty net for 4-1. Hoffenheim pulls one back, it ends 4-2 and the Reds are back where they belong, Champions League Group Stages.

Oh how beautiful the world is when the Reds are killing a game in the first 20!

Here are the player ratings :

Simon Mignolet 6/10 – Not much to do for the goals but still conceded 2. One decent save in particular.

TAA – 7/10  – Another good display for Arnold, fearless going forward but a bit exposed at the back. Nothing too concerning by any means.

Joel Matip 8/10 – Normal service resumed, confirming Watford was a glitch. Solid as a rock at the back.

Dejan Lovren 5/10 – Once again the weak link in our defense. Probably the only Liverpool player who left the pitch not pleased with himself

Alberto Moreno 7/10 – He literally played as a striker for couple minutes as Klavan came on. As always this season decent going forward. Now can we start Robertson on Sunday?

Emre Can 9/10 – Couple inches away from a first half hat trick. Great to see him providing so much support from the 2nd line. It’s the one thing our midfielders must do more.

Gini Wijnaldum 8/10 – For the 1st time this season, i actually noticed him on the pitch. Much  more influential than lately. Hopefully he will kick on from here

Jordan Henderson 9/10 – Boss captain performance. Capped it up with the most unselfish assist ever. More of this, lad!

Mo Salah 7.5/10 – Reckon he’ll score about a thousand tap-ins this season. Always near the goal anticipating a bounce or a mistake. Good reaction for the goal too.

Bobby Firmino 9.5/10 – Such an unique player. Gave the Hoffenheim defenders hell with his movement and decision making. Absolutely vital in this team. What an assist for Can.

Sadio Mane 8/10 – A bit concerning that he looked knackered by 60 yet he was kept on the pitch a little bit longer. Master of all trades. Well known for his pace but there’s so much more about him. Great vision and execution of the back heel for the hugely important Emre Can opening goal.

Joe Gomez 6.5/10 – Still not sure why Jurgen generally thinks it’s a good idea to bring him on for Trent in the 2nd half. This time you could argue the game was won already though.

James Milner 6.5/10 – Came on for Can although i thought Hendo could do with some rest. Game was already won and didn’t noticed him much

Ragnar Klavan N/A – Completes a hat trick of weird substitutions for Jurgen Klopp.

This article was written by Robert. Follow him on Twitter – @Robert_Nastase

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