Liverpool will take a narrow lead to Anfield next week after claiming a 2-1 first leg win against Hoffenheim in their Champions League qualifier.

Jurgen Klopp's men were out of the blocks slowly in Germany, with Dejan Lovern conceding a penalty after just 10 minutes, when Dejan Lovren brought down Serge Gnabry.

Fortunately for the visitors, Simon Mignolet was on hand to save Andrej Kramaric's spot-kick, before teenage European debutant Trent Alexander-Arnold curled home a sensational 30-yard free-kick to put Liverpool ahead.

That goal settled Liverpool down but they could not make their dominance show until the substitute James Milner saw a deflected shot hit the back of the net with 15 minutes remaining.

However, a late strike from Mark Uth means the German will have hope next week. Here are five talking points from Liverpool's 2-1 win.

After a very shaky opening half-hour, not many Reds fans would have expected an 18-year-old right-back making his European debut to be the one who got Liverpool going.

But step forward Trent Alexander-Arnold, as he strolled up to a freekick, curling it over the wall and into the bottom corner.

The teenager's reputation has been growing in recent months and he can now add bone fide dead-ball specialist to his CV.

While his goal will hog the headlines and get Reds fans' pulse's racing, he also did his job at the back, making more passes, interceptions and having more touches than any other Liverpool player in the first half.

Defensively, Liverpool picked up where they left off following Watford's late equaliser at the weekend.

Dejan Lovren is heavily scrutinised whenever he pulls on a Reds shirt these days and the centre-back looked nervy from the start. Hoffenheim wanted a penalty after seven minutes when the ball struck the Croat's arm and they got their wish three minutes later when he bought down Serge Gnabry after being nutmegged by the former Arsenal man.

With Alberto Moreno also failing to impress alongside him Liverpool were fortunate not to concede in the first half, before taking more of a grip on the game after the break.

And alas, they were not able to keep a clean sheet, with Uth's late strike giving the German's hope ahead of the return leg at Anfield.

It's fair to say that Simon Mignolet has never truly won over the Liverpool faithful, but he has a very useful habit of stepping up when it matters.

Liverpool started this game very slow, with Dejan Lovren punished for a his clumsy 10th minute tackle on Serge Gnabry in the box.

Former Leicester man Andrej Kramaric stepped up to take the penalty, but Mignolet was on hand to save his seventh out penalty out of 20 in a Liverpool shirt. A decent ratio, and one that is made all the better when you factor in the opposition.

These saves have included strikes against Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United and although the Kramaric hit was frankly woeful, it could be prove to be the key moment in this tie when all is done and dusted next week.

The early running suggests this could the Sadio Mane's season. The Senegalese looks back to his irresistible best following last season's injury worries, as he used his pace to skin any Hoffenheim defender that got in his way.

Far and away Liverpool's biggest threat on the night, Mane evaded defenders, drew free-kicks and was involved in just about every promising move the Reds made. Only his decision-making let him down at times and prevented him from putting this tie to bed.

In this day and age, the £34million that Klopp shelled out for the former Southampton man seems an absolute bargain.

Source: Daily Mirror

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