UEFA Champions League 2017/18, Liverpool 4-2 Hoffenheim (6-3 aggregate): Player Ratings
Liverpool reached the group stages of the UEFA Champions League overcoming Hoffenheim. Check out our player ratings.
Liverpool overcame the challenge of TSG 1899 Hoffenheim in the second-leg of their UEFA Champions League qualifier, winning 4-2 on the night and 6-3 on aggregate to book their place in the main phase of the competition.
Emre Can scored two (in the 10th minute and 21st minutes) with Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino scoring the other two.
Mark Uth grabbed a consolation before Sandro Wagner scored a late one, but Jurgen Klopp's team were much the better team throughout and deserved to go through to the Champions League first round proper, with the group stage draw to come on Thursday.
So, let's take a look at how the players fared in our ratings (all are based on a base of 10).
Simon Mignolet - 6
Was untroubled for large portions of the night, but looked sketchy under the high ball, particularly in the 60th minute when it took him two attempts to gather a Pavel Kaderabek cross.
Trent Alexander-Arnold - 6
Seemed keen to get involved at set-pieces and was full of energy throughout. Faded a little in the second half, but should be proud of his efforts.
Dejan Lovren - 5
He was guilty of giving possession away for Hoffenheim's opening goal and was perhaps fortunate to not be tested too much after that. Remains a worry defensively for Liverpool and although he improved in the final 20 minutes, he will need to tighten his game against superior offences.
Joel Matip - 6
Enjoyed a decent game on the whole. Didn't contribute too much, exactly one year to the day after he made his Liverpool debut.
Alberto Moreno - 6
Early on, the Spaniard's crossing and dead-ball distribution weren't the best, but he warmed up to the occasion as the game went on and improved his delivery. Was always eager to get forward.
Jordan Henderson - 7
He exuded leadership on the field, did the simple things well; tracked back when needed, raced to the second ball often enough and distributed the ball comfortably. The England international earned himself a yellow card for a poor foul on Kerem Demirbay at the end of the first half. Pressured the Hoffenheim back-line superbly to create the opening for Liverpool's fourth strike.
Emre Can - 8
Can did extremely well to make up the ground for his first goal, slotting home Sadio Mane's clever backheel in the 10th minute and again for his second, he was alert to the chance at the back post. He could easily have sealed a hat-trick in the 42nd minute but squeezed his shot marginally wide of the far post. A top performance on the whole.
Georginio Wijnaldum - 6
His first-time ball into Mane's feet in the 20th-minute in the build-up to Can's first goal epitomised the sort of performance he put in on the night. He could, and perhaps should, have netted himself one but his tackling and determination made up for that.
Mohamed Salah - 8
The new man for Liverpool looked lively and Almost turned home Alexander-Arnold's deflected free kick early on only to stab home his goal well after that. He was always keen to get at the full-backs and will have done a little to make Reds fans forget about the whole Philippe Coutinho debacle at least for a little while.
Sadio Mane - 9
Should have scored in the early throes when played through by Roberto Firmino, but hit the ball straight at the 'keeper. Laid on a classy assist for the opener and was one of their stand-out players, using his pace, power and terrific skill to great effect throughout. A showman's performance.
Roberto Firmino - 8
Showed composure to slide the ball into Wijnaldum's path as he hit the post in the lead-up to Salah's goal. Played a very celever game overall and took his goal well - even if it was laid on a plate for him by Henderson inside the box.
Joe Gomes - 6
Came on for Alexander-Arnold with 25 minutes of normal time remaining.
James Milner - 6
Took the place of two-goal Can with 20 minutes of regulation time left on the clock.
Ragnar Klavan - N/A
He was introduced for Mane with less than three minutes of normal time remaining.
TSG Hoffenheim 1899
Oli Baumann - 7
Baumann did well to keep out Liverpool's early forages forward and was undoubtedly Hoffenheim's star man, often forced to repel attack after attack with some great saves that kept the score-line lower than it could have risen.
Pavel Kaderabek - 5
Picked up a yellow card for a nasty challenge on Mane in the opening half. Ghosted in and out of the match.
Havard Nordtveit - 4
Couldn't cope with Liverpool's aggressive attacking fluidity and was substituted in the 24th minute.
Kerem Demirbay - 4
He was expected to be more influential in the middle of the park, but he couldn't link defence to attack with fluidity. He also neglected his defensive duties.
Sandro Wagner - 4
Laid the ball on for Mark Uth's strike in the opening half, but like several of his team-mates, he simply didn't contribute enough throughout. That said, he was starved of service for much of the match and did well to take his goal with 10 minutes remaining.
Steven Zuber - 4
Zuber looked lost a great deal of the time when facing Salah down the flank and was run ragged for much of the opening 45 - it was a theme that continued following the restart.
Benni Hubner - 5
Was fairly anonymous for the opening 30 minutes, but woke up a little after that and began to impose himself physically to clamp down on Liverpool's elusive attacking forays.
Kevin Vogt - 5
The defender had his hands full trying to stop Mane and Firmino. Far from the paciest player, it took him the opening 30 minutes to really gather his bearings and start to use his strength to his advantage. Got himself booked for a no-nonsense tackle on Firmino in the second half.
Andrej Kramaric - 5
Offered little going forward, lost the ball several times and was rather anonymous for much of the first half. It was he, however, who crossed to assist for Wagner's header in the 80th minute.
Serge Gnabry - 6
Looked lively - hoofed the ball over the bar in the seventh minute when he should have scored, but he was offside in any case. In the 25th minute, he should have stroked the ball home after making good use of space on the left flank but dragged his effort wide. He, however, faded as the contest dragged on.
Dennis Geiger - 5
Was determined in tracking back in an effort to help his defensive team-mates out. Received a yellow card for a silly foul on Wijnaldum on the half-hour mark.
Mark Uth - 6
Introduced in the 24th minute for Nordtveit and scored less than four minutes later to net his second goal in as many games against the Reds to give his side a sliver of hope. He was a live wire after that as he forced a corner at the end of first-half stoppage time with a decent pop-shot.
Adam Szalai - 5
Could do little to force a way back into the tie for Hoffenheim.
Jeremy Toljan - 5
By the time he had been introduced, the match was already well and truly over as a contest. Tried his luck with a long-range effort in the 66th minute, but could only produce a dribbling effort that was blocked away to safety.