Liverpool's Week in Review: Talking Hoffenheim, Arsenal and transfers
Liverpool enjoyed one of their most productive and joyful weeks which saw the club clinch a spot in the Champions League group stage, get a relatively easy draw and lay down a marker in the Premier League. Further, Liverpool pushed ahead in their pursuit of top targets rounding off a fruitful period.
There were a good number of top performances on and off the pitch along with interesting transfer talk this week. So, let's take a look at Liverpool's week starting with the Champions League playoff 2nd leg against Hoffenheim.
Back to the elite with a bang
When Liverpool drew Hoffenheim in the Champions League playoffs, there was a worry among the Anfield faithful. However, the Reds brought back two away goals to Merseyside at the start of the second leg. If there were lingering doubts about the Reds' performance at home, then they were put to bed in a swift manner.
Jurgen Klopp's men raced out of the blocks, taking the game to the Bundesliga side from the off. While Hoffenheim's Serge Gnabry looked threatening, the trio of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, and Roberto Firmino tore Hoffenheim's defence apart.
Julian Nagelsmann's decision to persist with three defenders at the back proved to be the bane as Mane and Salah surged ahead in the space behind the wing-backs at every opportunity.
This pulled the defence out of shape and Liverpool capitalized on the chances. Further, the return of Emre Can to midfield made a lot of difference as he brought in energy, industry and this time around - goals.
The German along with Georginio WIjnaldum constantly made runs into the box, something Klopp highlighted in the post-match conference as well. Can scored the first via a deflection while Wijnaldum's shot off the post was tucked in by Salah.
The Dutchman's pass released Mane before Firmino crossed for Can to tap home the third and bringing Klopp to scream, "That's f*****g football!" at the jubilant crowd.
Nagelsmann immediately brought about a substitution and went to four at the back. They pulled one goal back immediately with Dejan Lovren the guilty party.
The defender was once again beaten at the closing stages as Hoffenheim's Wagner scored through a header. However, the match was done much before that with captain Jordan Henderson's relentless press winning the ball high up the pitch and Firmino doing the honours.
The Brazilian was at the heart of everything and his movement, skill and work-rate came to the fore. After an emphatic win, Liverpool could not have asked for a better draw as they drew Sevilla, Spartak Moscow, and Maribor.
Klopp will be hoping for his side to top the group as his team gears up to avenge the Europa League final defeat to the Spanish club in 2016 in the opening match.