Liverpool took a step closer to qualifying for the UEFA Champions League group stage after beating 1899 Hoffenhiem 2-1 at the Rh4in-Neckar Arena in Germany.
The Reds opened scoring through Trent Alexandra-Arnord in the 35th minute, with second half substitute, James Milner, giving them a 2-0 lead, when he scored a lovely cross-cum shot goal in the 74th minute.
Hoffenhiem did pull a game back late on through Mark Uth, but it was rather too late as the visitors held on to take a 1-2 lead heading into next week’s second leg at Anfield.
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“The first half is done,” an elated Jurgen Klopp said, moments after the match. “If you told me before the game we’d win, I’d have taken any result.
With half the job done, and heading back to England having scored two crucial away goals, Klopp says they’d need Anfield to complete the job.
“We need Anfield,” he added. “What an intense game for both sides. We’re looking forward to a European night at Anfield.”
Hoffenhiem’s youthful manager, Julian Nagelsmann, didn’t appear too disappointed with how his team played, as he said they simply were unlucky.
“We had the better chances. I would say we weren’t the worst team today, but the less lucky team.”