The best photos as Liverpool beat Hoffenheim to seal Champions League place

23 August 2017

Liverpool produced a stunning attacking performance to beat Hoffenheim 4-2 at Anfield and seal a place in the lucrative Champions League group stage.


After battling to a priceless 2-1 first leg win in Sinsheim last week, the Reds arrived at Anfield knowing exactly what was required to seal progression to Europe’s elite competition.

And Jurgen Klopp’s men rose to the occasion, producing a devastating attacking display in which goals from Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and a brace from Emre Can ensured qualification.

For the second game running, Klopp made five changes to his side, with Liverpool lining up with the same team that sealed the 2-1 first-leg victory in Germany.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, August 23, 2017: Liverpool's players line-up for a team group photograph before the UEFA Champions League Play-Off 2nd Leg match between Liverpool and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim at Anfield. Back row L-R: Roberto Firmino, Dejan Lovren, goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, Joel Matip, Emre Can, Sadio Mane. Front row L-R: Georginio Wijnaldum, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Alberto Moreno, captain Jordan Henderson, Mohamed Salah. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Roared on by Anfield’s biggest crowd for a European fixture since 1978, the Reds took the game to their opponents from the off, and opened the scoring after 10 minutes when Can finished after a brilliant back-heel from Sadio Mane.

Liverpool's Emre Can celebrates scoring his side's first goal during the UEFA Champions League Play-Off, Second Leg match at Anfield, Liverpool.

Salah doubled the lead just eight minutes later, when the Egyptian slotted home the rebound after Georginio Wijnaldum saw his effort from Firmino’s cutback rebound off the post.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, August 23, 2017: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah prays as he celebrates scoring the second goal during the UEFA Champions League Play-Off 2nd Leg match between Liverpool and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

And with just 21 minutes on the clock, Can notched his second of the night as the Reds raced into a three-goal lead, volleying in at the back post after a perfect cross from the magnificent Firmino.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, August 23, 2017: Liverpool's Emre Can celebrates scoring the third goal during the UEFA Champions League Play-Off 2nd Leg match between Liverpool and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Hoffenheim pulled one back through substitute Mark Uth, but Julian Naglesmann’s side had no answer to the Reds’ lethal forward play, often orchestrated by the superb Mane who proved too hot for the visitors to handle.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, August 23, 2017: Liverpool's Sadio Mane during the UEFA Champions League Play-Off 2nd Leg match between Liverpool and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

On 63 minutes, Firmino scored a richly deserved goal to restore the three-goal cushion, finishing the easiest of chances after being teed up by Jordan Henderson in front of the Kop.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, August 23, 2017: Liverpool's Roberto Firmino celebrates scoring the fourth goal during the UEFA Champions League Play-Off 2nd Leg match between Liverpool and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Hoffenheim, by now a beaten side, grabbed a consolation through Sandro Wagner, but it proved nothing more than that as the Reds saw out the match to seal a 4-2 win—6-3 on aggregate—and a group stage place, much to Klopp’s delight.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, August 23, 2017: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp celebrates his side's 4-2 victory (6-3 on aggregate) during the UEFA Champions League Play-Off 2nd Leg match between Liverpool and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It was a magnificent night at Anfield, where the Reds will be back in action on Sunday as Arsenal arrive for the final Premier League fixture before the first international break of the season.

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