Hope bubbled through Anfield in the first of many European nights this season, as Liverpool hammered Hoffenheim 4-2 to complete Champions League qualification. Fueled by the first truly bright start in some time, the Reds rose to the occasion and finally guaranteed their participation amongst the European elite.
It only took 20 minutes for Liverpool to surge to a 3-0 lead, tormenting the left side of the Bundesliga side’s defence. Wave after wave of players crashed down the left, the pace and link up of Sadio Mane and Alberto Moreno, combined with Roberto Firmino and all three midfielders shredded the visitors.
Liverpool were dominant from the start, nearly scoring in the opening minutes, then breaking through in the 10th minute. From then the Reds ran wild.
Were it not for a give away by Dejan Lovren that gave Hoffenheim a breath of life, the away side would have entered the break completely broken. Instead, it would take a little longer for Liverpool to end the affair, when Firmino finished a fourth goal just past the hour mark, making striker Sandro Wagner’s goal for the German side in the 78th minute meaningless.
After three years absence, Liverpool return to the group stage of the Champions League, where the club belongs. Supporters can look forward to more evening fixtures on the continent and at Anfield.
Here are four findings from the match.