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Hoffenheim 1 Liverpool 2: Trent Alexander-Arnold scores his first club goal on dream Champions League debut to help move on from Philippe Coutinho woes

 

Anfield kid and Havard Nordtveit own goal both helped move Reds one step closer to a crack at conquering Europe

The local lad, 18, curled in a 35th-minute beauty to move his boyhood club one step closer towards a crack at conquering Europe.

Trent Alexander-Arnold celebrates after scoring against Hoffenheim

Trent Alexander-Arnold celebrates after scoring against Hoffenheim

Trent Alexander-Arnold whips in a terrific free-kick 35 minutes in

Trent Alexander-Arnold whips in a terrific free-kick 35 minutes in

Ironically, had wantaway Philippe Coutinho been involved in the Champions League play-off first leg, the young right-back would have had no chance in stepping up for the set piece.

Jurgen Klopp’s men were lucky not to be a goal down within 12 minutes when Dejan Lovren gave away a clumsy penalty after being nutmegged by ex-Arsenal ace Serge Gnabry.

Simon Mignolet saved Andrej Kramaric’s resulting spot-kick to redeem himself somewhat for his Watford horror show.

James Milner replaced Jordan Henderson on 63 minutes to take up a spot in midfield – an unfamiliar position for him these days.

And it was his 74th-minute cross from the left which bounced off Havard Nordtveit and into the Hoffenheim goal to double Liverpool’s lead.

Substitute Mark Uth grabbed what could be an important consolation for Hoffenheim in the 87th minute, plucking the ball down and pinging it past Mignolet.

Serge Gnabry hits the deck after nutmegging Dejan Lovren and forcing contact

Serge Gnabry hits the deck after nutmegging Dejan Lovren and forcing contact

Simon Mignolet saves Andrej Kramaric's 12th-minute penalty

Simon Mignolet saves Andrej Kramaric’s 12th-minute penalty

Hero Alexander-Arnold was at fault for the goal as he hedged his bets trying to get the linesman to wave for offside instead of bursting back to try and tackle.

 

Hoffenheim boss Julian Nagelsmann is touted as the young pretender of German bosses - and definitely looked the part in a trendy white grandad collar shirt

Hoffenheim boss Julian Nagelsmann is touted as the young pretender of German bosses – and definitely looked the part in a trendy white grandad collar shirt

Jurgen Klopp had a happy return to Germany after beating Hoffenheim

Jurgen Klopp had a happy return to Germany after beating Hoffenheim

Germany boss Joachim Low was in the stands at Hoffenheim's Rhein-Neckar-Arena

Germany boss Joachim Low was in the stands at Hoffenheim’s Rhein-Neckar-Arena

Trent Alexander-Arnold gets it over the wall and bends it into the goal to score a beauty

Trent Alexander-Arnold gets it over the wall and bends it into the goal to score a beauty

It was a dream Champions League debut for Trent Alexander-Arnold who scored

It was a dream Champions League debut for Trent Alexander-Arnold who scored

James Milner's cross deflected off Havard Nordtveit and into the Hoffenheim goal

James Milner’s cross deflected off Havard Nordtveit and into the Hoffenheim goal

James Milner's cross resulted in the second goal for Liverpool

James Milner’s cross resulted in the second goal for Liverpool

Liverpool celebrate scoring their second goal against Hoffenheim in the Champions League

Liverpool celebrate scoring their second goal against Hoffenheim in the Champions League

Substitute Marth Uth may have given Hoffenheim the kiss of life with his late goal

Substitute Marth Uth may have given Hoffenheim the kiss of life with his late goal

Mark Uth, left, scored a vital consolation goal against Liverpool

Mark Uth, left, scored a vital consolation goal against Liverpool

Watford 3-3 Liverpool: Miguel Britos bags 93rd minute equaliser after Mohamed Salah looked to have won it at Vicarage Road

INTERACTIVE STATS – CLICK on the categories to find out how the teams fared 

Liverpool: Mignolet 8, Alexander-Arnold 8, Matip 7, Lovren 6, Moreno 7, Henderson 7 (Milner 6), Can 7, Wijnaldum 6, Salah 6, Mane 7 (Grujic 6), Firmino 7 (Solanke 6).

Hoffenheim: Baumann 7, Bicakcic 6 (Nordtveit 6), Vogt 6, Hubner 6, Kaderabek 6, Rupp 6 (Amiri 6), Demirbay 7, Wagner 6, Zuber 6, Kramaric 6, Gnabry 6 (Uth 6).

Alexander-Arnold: “It’s a thing of dreams to make your European debut for your boyhood club and especially to mark it with a goal.

“I got egged on to do it [take the free-kick]. I never put my hand up but I had the confidence to take it.”

Henderson on Alexander-Arnold: “He was outstanding last season and he’s come back and gone up another level.

“He’s been doing free-kicks like that in training every day and he’s done it again on the big stage.”

Klopp: “To concede like this, I don’t want to concede like this. In extra time because our little hero had his arm up! but that’s okay, I prefer the result 2-1.

“I think we gambled too much on the wing so left Trent a few times alone but he did brilliant and came through.”

He added: “He [Alexander-Arnold] only plays because he is good.

“He has to improve in pretty much all parts of the game. Offensively he is nice to watch and defensively he was good, but of course the challenge – that is where he has to improve.

“He needs a long ice bath, warm bed and recovery.”

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp gives a funny response to a question on his first time

Source: https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/football/4250582/hoffenheim-1-liverpool-2-trent-alexander-arnold-champions-league-goal/

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