Despite dropping points away from against Watford in the league opener, Liverpool are back in the winning ways following two consecutive victories including tonight’s opponents Hoffenheim who were humbled 2-1 at their home after 15 months of unbeaten streak. The Wednesday night Anfield outing was one final showdown for Liverpool before entering the group stages of the prestigious UEFA Champions League competition. And the hosts did it comfortably as they secured a 4-2 win ( 6-3 in aggregate) and became the fifth English club to reach the group stages of the tournament.
Below are the Liverpool players rated from the fixture.
Simon Mignolet: 5.5
Was impressive with his outing. Could have done little to stop Mark Uth great first half strike that went past his fingertips. Had a nervy moment while gripping the ball once in second half and had no chance to deny Sandro Wagner’s header in closing minutes. Stopped a deflected strike of Kerem Demirbay with great reflex.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 7
The teenager was great going forward, combined well with Mohamed Salah up-front. But had a couple of nervy moments while defending against pacy Andrej Kramaric and Serge Gnabry. However, he was even better in the second half and bullied Hoffenheim back-line with his forward runs before being taken off to be replaced by another teenager Joe Gomez.
Joel Matip: 6.5
Calm and composed as always, was in the right place at the right time. Impressed with his aerial presence as well as passing traits.
Dejan Lovren: 5
Was at fault in Hoffenheim’s goal as his dreadful pass found Sandro Wagner who quickly set it for Mark Uth to decrease the deficit. Was doing well after the break but again failed to mark Wagner properly inside the box who headed home late into the second half.
Alberto Moreno: 6.5
Did exceptionally well from attacking perspective. Blocked and intercepted a few of Hoffenheim’s attacks. However, he failed to reach and block Mark Uth’s strike from the left-hand side of the box.
Jordan Henderson: 8
The skipper led his side from the middle of the park with his hard work, tackles and key pass. Was the architect of Liverpool’s fourth goal as he pressed Hoffenheim skipper Vogt to make a defensive howler and then set it for Firmino to finish in an empty net.
Emre Can: 8
Emre Can scored twice in first half and impressed with his ability to hold possession and run the game from midfield. Was taken off to be replaced by James Milner in the second half
Georginio Wijnaldum: 7.5
The Dutchman had a much better outing than his previous ones this season as he kept on pressing high and impressed with his imposing passing skills. Failed to get past the keeper in a one-on-one opportunity in the second half.
Mohamed Salah: 7.5
Kept on troubling the Hoffenheim back-line with his blistering pace, tricky runs, and sense of positioning. Scored the second goal of the night by poking the ball into the net from close range after picking up the rebound of Sadio Mane’s strike that hit the post.
Sadio Mane: 8.5
Was unstoppable down the left-hand flank and set up Emre Can’s first goal. Was unlucky to hit the post but the rebound was converted by Mohamed Salah to net his side’s second of the night. Earned standing ovation from the Anfield crowd while being replaced by Ragnar Klavan in closing minutes.
Roberto Firmino: 7.5
Worked tirelessly, played a key part in Liverpool’s first two goals before teeing up perfectly for Emre Can and netting his side’s fourth in the second half.
Joe Gomez: 5.5
Came in place of Alexander-Arnold but struggled to deal with crosses from his right-back slot.
James Milner: 6
Came in place of Emre Can. Mostly screened the back-line.
Ragnar Klavan: NA
Played too little to warrant a rating.
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