Liverpool v Hoffenheim: Matchday blog
Liverpool booked their spot in the Champions League group stages with a 4-2 home win against Hoffenheim, which sealed a 6-3 aggregate victory over the German side
- Can (two) and Salah put Reds in command
- Substitute Uth grabs a goal back for visitors
- Firmino and Wagner trade goals in second half
'It's what we worked for'
The manager was delighted with the performance and what it means - Liverpool's return to the Champions League proper. Click here for a full report from his post-match press conference.
They're back! 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆 #UCL https://t.co/dF9qIJXaJc— ChampionsLeague (UEFA Champions League) 23rd Aug 20:59
The draw for the Champions League group stage will take place at 5pm BST on Thursday. Stay logged on to Liverpoolfc.com for details of opponents, dates and times.
Fist pumps from Klopp in front of the Kop!
Liverpool 4-2 Hoffenheim (6-3 aggregate)
That's it - the Reds are back in the Champions League group stage courtesy of an impressive 4-2 home win over their Bundesliga opponents, sealing a three-goal margin across the two legs. Get in!
Three minutes added on.
Late booking for Hubner.
Mane goes off to big applause, Klavan on.
Firmino close to a second and Liverpool's fifth, but his thrash hits the side-netting.
Goal for Hoffenheim
Wagner makes it 4-2 with a well-taken header from a cross into the Liverpool area from the left flank. So it's now 6-3 on aggregate.
Hoffenheim threaten a second on the night, moving the ball across from the right, into the box and back to Demirbay for a blast that deflects off Gomez and is saved by Mignolet.
Can has done enough for tonight - he is replaced by Milner as the Kop sing his name.
Liverpool - Gomez replaces Alexander-Arnold.
Hoffenheim - Toljan on for Kaderabek.
There it is.
Excellent pressing by Henderson allows the captain to rob Vogt, last man for Hoffenheim. The midfielder surges forward, unselfishly passes right to Firmino and the No.9 has the simple job of tapping the ball in.
Wijnaldum tries again from eight yards, set up by Alexander-Arnold's short knock, and once more Baumann gets hands on the strike.
Still they pour forward, this time prompted by a delightful piece of footwork by Can in his own half. Wijnaldum drives at Hoffenheim and tees up Mane along the left, who eventually forces Baumann into a save at the near post.
Szalai replaces Gnabry.
Another excellent chance for four.
From a throw-in, Wijnaldum and Salah swap passes to send the former bearing down on goal - but his effort sweeps up and over - seemingly via a flick off the goalkeeper.
Firmino, who has tormented his old side at times, is cynically fouled by Vogt, who is booked.
Another bright beginning by the Reds, who had a five-on-two counter-attack but could not quite open up a chance. Alexander-Arnold then curves in a clever cross that evades his teammates.
Wijnaldum kicks off and we're back under way at Anfield...
An update from BetVictor...
Liverpool - 1/22
Draw - 11/1
Hoffenheim - 30/1
Click here for more information.
Lovely touch by resident Voice of Anfield, George Sephton, to herald half-time - the German-language version of The Beatles' I Want to Hold Your Hand. A tune in any tongue.
Liverpool 3-1 Hoffenheim (5-2 agg)
Klopp's men have largely been fantastic here, playing some outstanding football going forward. The concession keeps them honest with another half to play, but they firmly control this tie now.
A caution for Henderson for a late tackle on Demirbay.
Hoffenheim haven't given this up, however. Uth gets into shooting territory along the right again and sends a low attempt in search of the near bottom corner, drawing a smart save from Mignolet at the expense of a corner.
The Reds are relentless and Can goes close to a hat-trick.
Again the play is quickly swapped from one side to another and the German finally tries to sweep a bobbling curler into the far right corner but can't quite swerve it back enough. Unlucky.
Mane responds by whipping up the nearby fans in the Main Stand, much to their appreciation. Nice.
Now Kaderabek goes into the book for a poor challenge on Mane.
Should really be four for the Reds.
The play is spread out to the right wing and ultimately through to Salah, who squares neatly for the incoming Firmino in the middle but the Brazilian's finish is too close to the goalkeeper and is stopped.
It's been a busy half an hour!
Geiger is given a yellow card.
Goal for Hoffenheim
They have rightly been rattled, but the Bundesliga side respond.
The ball is worked to substitute Uth on the right hand side and he sends an unerring, driven finish past the lunge of Moreno and across goal into the far corner.
3-1 (5-2 agg).
2 - Emre Can has scored 2+ goals in a game for the first time in his professional career. Brace. https://t.co/58sAXO96Gd— OptaJoe (OptaJoe) 23rd Aug 19:11
Uth comes on for Nordtveit for Hoffenheim.
A wonderful Liverpool goal.
Mane has possession on the left hand side, flicks a neat pass into Firmino, whose cross is perfectly weighted to the back post for Can to tap home and wheel away in deserved celebration.
5-1 on aggregate and a remarkable period of play by the home team.
And now another, and it's Salah with his first European goal for the club.
With Hoffenheim on the back foot, Wijnaldum is teed up in a central position at the edge of the box and plants a finish against the right post - with the rebound falling to the Egyptian to convert with ease.
The Reds have remained on the front foot since the opener and Moreno's free-kick from the left flank just eluded Matip inside the box. Klopp will be delighted with the 15 minutes he has watched so far.
Looking good !! @LFC 1 Vs HOF 0 Emre Can after a beauty backheel of Mane !! @ChampionsLeague back at Anfield!!— luchogarcia14 (Luis Garcia) 23rd Aug 18:58
GOAL!!!! Emre Can!!!
Exactly what the Reds wanted.
Mane breaks through in the left channel once again and with the path to goal blocked, backheels into the supporting run of Can to the left. The midfielder's effort takes a helpful deflection and nestles inside the near post.
Big chance for Mane! The No.19 was released by a sublime Firmino prod through the Hoffenheim defence, but his stab towards the net was blocked by Baumann.
Great start by Liverpool.
Moreno wins a free-kick just outside the area and up steps Alexander-Arnold, as he did so successfully last week in Germany. This time he hits the wall, and Salah nods the loose rebound over the crossbar.
A job to do.
Hoffenheim get the game under way.... come on, Reds!
You'll Never Walk Alone is always extra special on European nights and this evening is no different - the Kop and indeed the whole stadium in fine voice, extending the song beyond the version over the PA. Brilliant.
The players have just finished their warm-up and we're about ready to go at Anfield now. 10 minutes until kick-off...
A reminder of tonight's two teams...
And another special shot from inside the Liverpool dressing room...
A lovely sight, eh?
3 - Sadio Mane has scored in three of his last four games for Liverpool, including both of his last two appearances… https://t.co/5UxJ3y31pm— OptaJoe (OptaJoe) 23rd Aug 17:46
The lads arrive...
Here's how Hoffenheim line up...
Confirmed LFC team
Five changes for the Reds tonight…
Liverpool XI: Mignolet, Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Matip, Moreno, Henderson, Can, Wijnaldum, Salah, Mane, Firmino.
Substitutes: Karius, Klavan, Gomez, Robertson, Milner, Solanke, Sturridge.
Together. 🔴 https://t.co/M26YRFECXT— LFC (Liverpool FC (at 🏠)) 23rd Aug 17:06
'We won't be intimidated'
Hoffenheim forward Andrej Kramaric has played here before - and here's what he had to say in the match programme...
"Everybody knows about Anfield, everybody knows You'll Never Walk Alone. It will be a great atmosphere coming into the stadium. I love these kinds of matches. All your senses are alert and you are ready to go. I will not be intimidated by it and neither will my teammates."
HEAD-TO-HEAD: Mohamed Salah vs Serge Gnabry #LIVHOF #UCL https://t.co/wHFUxxWib4— WhoScored (WhoScored.com) 23rd Aug 16:00
Champions League football awaits Anfield tonight...
There'll be plenty of interest in Klopp's team selection this evening - and we'll have the confirmed line-up directly from the LFC dressing room before anywhere else. 6.30pm BST is the time to look out for.
Sadio Mane clocked up his 10th Anfield goal in scoring the winner against Crystal Palace on Saturday, and the Senegal man has the chance to bag his first European strike for the Reds tonight.
See his home tally so far all over again below...
Anfield. https://t.co/GdqAD0Fi08— James_Carroll84 (James Carroll) 23rd Aug 16:32
A smattering of supporters are already at the stadium as we await kick-off, no doubt enthused by the prospect of a first Champions League fixture here in almost three years.
The task at hand for the Reds, of course, is to ensure there are plenty more to follow in 2017-18.
It's a very warm evening in Anfield, though humidity aside perhaps perfect conditions for a football match.
Our unofficial advice for fans in attendance would be to bring a jacket just in case it cools in the hours to come.
Liverpool hold a 2-1 aggregate lead after last week's first leg at Rhein-Neckar-Arena, which you can rewatch in condensed form below.
Looking forward to the first European night at Anfield this season. Let's make ourselves proud! 🏠🏆⚽🔴💪🏻 #LFC #YNWA… https://t.co/rZ9umwxTBT— SMignolet (Simon Mignolet) 23rd Aug 10:06
Not long now...
Shouting the odds
Here are the latest 90 minutes match prices, courtesy of Bet Victor:
Liverpool - 4/6
Draw - 10/3
Hoffenheim - 4/1
LFC backs Fans Supporting Foodbanks initiative
As will be the case at every first-team home game this season, the club will gratefully receive foodbank donations at Anfield tonight.
'Wilkommen an der Anfield Road'
Here's a sneak preview of the cover of tonight's edition of 'This is Anfield'.
Pick up your copy at the ground, or click here to subscribe online.
'Yes, there is pressure tonight. But it is positive pressure'
Klopp, meanwhile, has used his notes in 'This is Anfield' to back his players to handle the pressure that comes with such an important fixture.
"I'm reminded of the final few weeks of last season, when we were all fighting so hard to make sure we finished in the top four of the Premier League," the manager writes.
"Yes, there was pressure, and yes, there is pressure tonight. But it is positive pressure. These players have shown that they have what it takes to absorb the pressure and produce."
For more from Klopp, click here
'The job's not even half done yet'
That's the message from Reds captain Jordan Henderson in tonight's matchday programme.
"As a dressing room, we know Hoffenheim are more dangerous tonight than they were at their own ground last week," writes the skipper in 'This is Anfield'.
"They have the same ambition as us; they want to be in the Champions League proper when it starts in September. But I think we showed in Germany how much progressing in this competition means to all of us."
Click here to read more from the captain
Joel Matip joined Jürgen Klopp on pre-match press conference duties at Anfield on Tuesday evening.
Watch the centre-back and the boss address the media in full and for free below...
Good afternoon and welcome to Liverpoolfc.com's live matchday blog.
The Reds host Hoffenheim at Anfield tonight (7.45pm BST kick-off) looking to qualify for the Champions League group stages by finishing the job they started with a 2-1 play-off first-leg victory in Germany last Tuesday.
Stay right here for the most comprehensive coverage of the build-up, action and reaction from Anfield.