Liverpool progress to the Champions League group stage after commanding home win over Hoffenheim

Follow VAVEL UK's live commentary of the second leg of the Champions League play-off round as Hoffenheim travel to Anfield to face Liverpool.

Liverpool progress to the Champions League group stage after commanding home win over Hoffenheim
Hoffenheim training at Anfield ahead of Wednesday's second leg. (Photo: Jan Kruger / Getty Images)
Liverpool: Mignolet; Alexander-Arnold (Gomez, 64'), Matip, Lovren, Moreno; Henderson, Can (Milner, 70'), Wijnaldum; Mané, Salah, Firmino.
TSG 1899 Hoffenheim: Baumann, Kadeřábek (Toljan, 64'), Nordtveit (Uth, 24'), Demirbay, Wagner, Zuber, Hübner, Vogt, Kramarić, Gnabry (Szalai, 56'), Geiger.
SCORE: 1-0 (3-1), Can, 10' 2-0 (4-1), Salah, 18' 3-0 (5-1), Can, 21' 3-1 (5-2), Uth, 28' 4-1 (6-2), Firmino, 63' 4-2 (6-3), Wagner, 79'
REFEREE: Booked: Geiger, 30' Kadeřábek, 37' Vogt, 51' Hübner, 90'
Liverpool
4 2
TSG 1899 Hoffenheim

Thanks for tuning in to VAVEL UK's live coverage of Liverpool vs Hoffenheim in the UEFA Champions League! Stay tuned for a report of the match which will go up on the site shortly.

Hoffenheim face a trip to Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga on Saturday in their next game, while Liverpool host Arsenal on Sunday in the Premier League.

A brace from Can alongside goals from Salah and Firmino proved enough to send the Reds through, although Klopp will be wary of the goals they conceded despite their prowess up top.

That's it! Liverpool progress to the group stages of the Champions League while Hoffenheim drop into the Europa League following a commanding performance from Klopp's side.

FULL-TIME: Liverpool 4 (6) - 2 (3) Hoffenheim

90' - There will be three minutes of added time.

90' - Benjamin Hübner goes into the book for berating the referee in the final few moments of the match, unnecessary but means little in the grand scheme of things.

Liverpool have changed to a back three following that last change, Klopp just looking to keep the score as it is.

88' - LIVERPOOL SUB: Mané leaves the field and is replaced by Ragnar Klavan for the final few minutes of the match.

87' - Firmino fires into the side netting after receiving the ball inside the area.

85' - The game is petering out somewhat as we enter the final five minutes, both teams seem to have accepted the result is now set in stone.

A great cross into the centre of the box by Kramarić finds Wagner who leaps higher than anyone else to nod the ball past Mignolet and into the bottom corner. A consolation goal more than anything but it'll give Wagner something to boast about.

79' - GOAL HOFFENHEIM!

78' - Demirbay nearly nets a consolation goal for Hoffenheim, blasting a low shot towards the centre of goal but Mignolet adjusted to the deflection on the shot well to parry wide.

74' - The visitors are still trying to force the issue up top but their efforts are more laboured than earlier on in the game.

70' - LIVERPOOL SUB: James Milner replaces Can in midfield and the latter receives a standing ovation from the home fans after his first-half brace.

66' - It looks like the Germans will be playing Europa League football this season and the truth is they haven't threatened Liverpool enough, mustering just one shot, off target at that, in the second half so far.

64' - LIVERPOOL SUB: Joe Gomez replaces Alexander-Arnold, who receives a standing ovation from the home fans as he leaves the field.

64' - HOFFENHEIM SUB: Kadeřábek goes off and is replaced by French full-back Jeremy Toljan.

That surely seals it now! Former Hoffenheim man Firmino rolls into an unguarded net after Henderson robbed Vogt of possession and played the Brazilian in mere yards away.

63' - GOAL LIVERPOOL! 

60' - Alexander-Arnold's pressure wins the ball on the edge of the Hoffenheim penalty area before the full-back plays it into Mané in the middle, but his shot is blocked by Baumann once again.

58' - The hosts counter again through Wijnaldum and Mané and the latter works his way into the box before firing into Baumann at the near post.

56' - HOFFENHEIM SUB: Ádám Szalai replaces Gnabry up top.

54' - Wijnaldum and Salah link up nicely on the edge of the box before the former's shot is saved at close range by Baumann.

52' - Corner to Liverpool after some good work from Mané down the left.

51' - Hoffenheim captain Vogt is shown a yellow card after blocking Firmino as the Brazilian tried to go past him.

50' - Liverpool are still looking dangerous going forward here, Hoffenheim don't have an antidote to the pace of Salah and Mané out wide.

46' - We're back underway for another 45 minutes of football! Can Hoffenheim find three goals or will Liverpool strengthen their hold on the game?

I'm back and feeling refreshed so I hope you're ready for the second half! The teams will be out for the restart shortly...

Liverpool are in a very strong position going into the break with a three goal buffer separating them and Hoffenheim. I'm off for that lie down, see you in 15.

HALF-TIME: Liverpool 3 (5) - 1 (2) Hoffenheim

45 + 1' - Henderson goes into the book following an altercation with Demirbay.

45' - There will be one minute of added time at the end of the first-half, which has absolutely flown over.

44' - Uth goes close again after getting on the end of Gnabry's ball in behind the Liverpool defence, but Mignolet watches it roll past the far post.

42' - Can almost grabs a first-half hat-trick with a low curling effort from the edge of the box. The German is certainly on top form tonight!

40' - After a mad opening 35 minutes or so the game is finally slowing down a little, Hoffenheim are starting to get on the ball a bit more as Liverpool conserve their energy.

37' - Kadeřábek goes into the book for a poor challenge on Mané, seems to be the only way anyone in a white shirt is going to stop him at the moment.

36' - So close to a fourth for Liverpool! Fantastic crossfield ball from Jordan Henderson finds Alexander-Arnold, who sends Salah down the wing. His pullback finds Firmino in the centre of the box but Baumann is there to keep the score at 3-1.

So, if you haven't been keeping up with the aggregate scoreline it now stands at 5-2 to Liverpool. That means three Hoffenheim goals without reply would take them through, anything less and they're out.

33' - The visitors seem to be playing in a 4-3-3 formation following that earlier substitution. The back three was being cut open far too easily by the Liverpool wide men earlier on.

Well just as he did last week Uth has come off the bench and found the net! Think I might need to go for a lie down after this half...

28' - GOAL HOFFENHEIM!

27' - It's safe to say Liverpool aren't settling for 3-0, Moreno continues to bomb down the left and link up with Mané but this time the cross is blocked by Baumann.

26' - Gnabry is afforded a great chance to pull a goal back but opts to shoot with his left foot when the angle perhaps favoured his other side, sending the shot past the post.

24' - HOFFENHEIM SUB: Mark Uth comes on for Nordtveit as the visitors change their shape, they now have four attackers on the field.

24' - Hoffenheim are unsurprisingly playing a much higher defensive line now, but has their slow start already done irreversible damage?

My word it's hard to keep up with this! A fantastic move from the Reds sees Can grab his second goal of the night after getting on the end of Firmino's cross. 

21' - ANOTHER GOAL FOR LIVERPOOL!

That could spell the end for Hoffenheim! Georginio Wijnaldum is fed in the box by Firmino and sees his shot come back off the far post, but Salah is on hand to prod in the rebound and make it 4-1 on aggregate.

18' - GOAL LIVERPOOL! 2-0!

15' - The visitors are really struggling to get a foothold on proceedings here, giving the ball away awfully cheaply in the middle of the park time and time again.

It's worth pointing out that Hoffenheim still need two goals with Liverpool now 3-1 up on aggregate, but that Can strike now means a brace from the visitors would take it to extra-time rather than an outright win as it would have previously.

The hosts have certainly made their pressure count! Mané shows great vision on the edge of the box to find Can with a backheel, and his shot is deflected in off the unfortunate Kevin Vogt. 1-0!

10' - GOAL LIVERPOOL!

9' - Alexander-Arnold is fouled by Zuber out on the right wing and Liverpool have a free-kick in a crossing position.

7' - Kerem Demirbay plays Kadeřábek down the right hand side of the box and the Czech defender plays it across for Gnabry who misses a glorious chance from mere yards out. The German's blushes are spared by the assistant referee's raised flag however.

5' - Liverpool are having all of the possession early on here and this is exactly what the visitors were hoping to avoid, the Reds have to make their dominance count though.

3' - Great chance for Liverpool! Mané latches on to Roberto Firmino's ball through the Hoffenheim defence and goes one-on-one with Oliver Baumann, but the German holds his ground and blocks the shot.

The free-kick is hit into the wall and deflects to the back post where Salah is waiting, but the Egyptian heads over the bar.

2' - Alberto Moreno is fouled by Pavel Kadeřábek on the edge of the penalty area, Trent Alexander-Arnold steps up...

1' - And we're off! The visitors will attack to the right and vice versa.

Just under five minutes to go until kick-off! Will Liverpool progress as expected, or do Hoffenheim have a trick or two up their sleeve?

So the Reds field the same XI that started at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena last week while Hoffenheim make two changes, with Ermin Bičakčić and Lukas Rupp making way for Håvard Nordtveit and Dennis Geiger.

Hoffenheim Substitutes: Kobel, Bičakčić, Rupp, Polanski, Toljan, Uth, Szalai.

Hoffenheim: Baumann, Kaderabek, Nordtveit, Demirbay, Wagner, Zuber, Hübner, Vogt, Kramarić, Gnabry, Geiger.

Liverpool Substitutes: Karius, Klavan, Gomez, Milner, Solanke, Robertson, Sturridge.

Liverpool: Mignolet; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Lovren, Moreno; Henderson, Can, Wijnaldum; Mané, Salah, Firmino.

It's just over an hour until kick-off which means the teams are almost in! Liverpool have announced their squad a little early so here's how they line-up...

Naglesmann has stated that he "[doesn't] think if [Hoffenheim] win it will be a shock" as he and his players "have belief that we can do it."

Liverpool meanwhile are without Nathaniel Clyne and Adam Lallana due to injury, while Barcelona target Philippe Coutinho will play no part, with Klopp saying that is" because on top [of his back problem] he's now ill."

The visitors are injury free which affords Nagelsmann the choice of Ádám Szalai, Sandro Wagner, Kramarić or Uth to play up top while Serge Gnabry is also no stranger to playing in a striking role.

The Hoffenheim boss may opt to switch to a 3-1-4-2 system at Anfield after deploying a 3-4-3 in the first leg with goals of the utmost importance.

 

Liverpool's 3-3 draw at Watford on the opening day of the Premier League showed that although their attack will trouble most teams, their defence is undoubtedly their weak point and Nagelsmann will be fully aware of that.

Achtzehn99 cannot afford to sit back and defend thanks to their two-goal deficit and must go for broke if they hope to progress.

Hoffenheim meanwhile opened their Bundesliga campaign with a 1-0 home win against Werder Bremen, with Andrej Kramarić's 84th minute goal enough to secure three points.

Mané as ever will be one of Liverpool's main threats during the game due to his pace and eye for goal, while on the opposite wing record signing Mohamed Salah mirrors the Senegalese international.

Since the first leg Jürgen Klopp's side have faced Crystal Palace in the Premier League, winning 1-0 thanks to Sadio Mané's second half strike.

 

Substitute Mark Uth's 87th minute goal doesn't change the fact that Julian Nagelsmann's men need two goals at Anfield in order to progress to the group stages, although it does mean they would now win the tie rather than take it to extra time if they were to win 2-0.

Last week's first leg saw the Reds come away with a 2-1 win thanks to Trent Alexander-Arnold's first goal for the club, followed by Håvard Nordtveit's second half own goal.

I'm Jack McGraghan and I'll be taking you through what will hopefully be an exciting game filled with goals at both ends, although the hosts would gladly take a 0-0 draw if they were offered it now.

Hello and welcome to VAVEL UK's live coverage of the second leg of Liverpool vs Hoffenheim in the play-off round of the Champions League!