Liverpool went to Hoffenheim knowing full well that any type of result which involved them scoring and not losing would be considered a success. They left with a 2-1 win, thanks to goals from Trent Alexander-Arnold and an own goal from Havard Nordtveit. The result gives the Reds the advantage going into the second-leg of the tie at Anfield next week.
Here’s how I rated the Liverpool players on their performances:
Simon Mignolet – 7
Mignolet made some really important saves and could do little about the goal. The penalty he saved was hardly a great one, but it looked like he’d done his homework and stood still as long as possible
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 8
Scored a wonderful free-kick and looked defensively sound. Got caught out a bit on the goal and was too busy appealing for offside, however, his positioning was pretty good, it was his centre-back who looked to be too deep.
Joel Matip – 6
Made a few vital clearances and blocks and looked much better than at the weekend.
Dejan Lovren – 3
Not good, not good at all. Lovren’s first-half was a shocker and the second, whilst improved, wasn’t particularly great either. Gave away the penalty and was too easy to beat too. Played the opposition onside in the build up to the goal too.
Alberto Moreno – 4
Whether by instruction or by his own ineptitude, his positioning was dreadful. He showed at times what he can offer in attack but I’m staggered that he’s starting games for Liverpool. He was targeted by Hoffenheim all night and it’s clear to see why.
Jordan Henderson – 4
Not the skipper’s brightest day on the pitch. Gave the ball away too easily at times and despite making a few decent tackles, he looked well off the pace.
Emre Can – 6
Can was solid enough and won his battles pretty much all game. Not too much to shout about with the ball, though.
Gini Wijnaldum – 5
Other than him taking the quick free-kick in the build up to the second goal, it was easy to forget that he was on the pitch.
Mohamed Salah – 6
Showed signs of his deadly pace once again but lacked the end product. Should have scored from the one-on-one in the first half whilst he squandered some good chances in the second period too.
Sadio Mane – 8
Was Liverpool’s best player for me. Had his defender on toast all game. All that was missing was a goal that he very much deserved.
Roberto Firmino – 6
Firmino had a quiet game by his standards. Should have scored from close range after a good cut back. Did play a lovely ball to Milner in the build-up to the second goal, though.
James Milner (Sub) – 7
Came on around the hour mark and looked extremely busy, especially when pressing. His cross forced the own goal.