Reds take first leg honours in UCL play-off against Hoffenheim

A trio of sensational goals highlighted Tuesday evening’s (Wednesday morning AEST) UCL qualifier between Liverpool and Hoffenheim, however, it was the EPL heavyweights that were victorious at the Rhein-Neckar Arena in Germany.

The 2-1 result in favour of the Reds puts them in a strong position ahead of the return leg at Anfield next week as they look to secure a Champions League group stage spot.

Trent Alexander-Arnold stole the show as he became the third youngest player ever to score in Champions League history as his stunning free-kick from 25 yards curled into the bottom corner.

In his ninth start for the club in all competitions, the 18-year-old buried the 35th minute free kick to give the Reds the lead after Simon Mignolet earlier denied the hosts from the penalty spot.

James Milner doubled Liverpool’s lead in the 77th minute with a curling effort into the top corner before Mark Uth found a way past Mignolet six minutes from time.

Liverpool could count themselves lucky to escape Germany with a win after Benjamin Hubner’s free header from a free kick in the first minute of added time went narrowly over the crossbar.

However it was Alexander-Arnold’s night, with the teenage impressing for the full 90 minutes.

“We’re happy with the win but we are still disappointed with the late goal we conceded,” Alexander-Arnold said post-game.

“But it’s always good to take a lead back to Anfield and give us an advantage.

“I thought I someone else might have taken it but I stepped up in the end… I practice it a lot in training and it paid off.

“The show of faith and trust from the manager and the players gives you confidence when you take it. I knew the players trusted me and it went in

“It’s exciting to try and get into the champions league and get those nights back at Anfield … the job is only half way done and anything can happen in those 90 minutes but we’ll do everything we can to get it done.”

UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE PLAY-OFF FIRST LEG RESULTS

APOEL Nicosia 2 (De Camargo 2, Aloneftis 10) Slavia Prague 0

BSC Young Boys 0 CSKA Moscow 1 (Nuhu 90+1 og)

Hoffenheim 1 (Uth 87) Liverpool 2 (Alexander-Arnold 35, Nordtveit 74 og)

Sporting CP 0 Steaua Bucharest 0 Send-offs: (Pintilii 80 – Steaua Bucharest)

Garabagh Agdam 1 (Madatov 25) Copenhagen 0

 

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