UEFA Champions League qualifiers: TSC Hoffenheim 1-2 Liverpool, Player Ratings
Liverpool brushed aside TSC Hoffenheim in a highly entertaining first leg clash at the Rhein-Neckar Arena.
The score was 2-1 in favour of the Reds, who now will take two away goals to Anfield for the second leg. The match produced an end to end stuff from the word go with both teams putting their feet on the pedal and looking to accelerate at all times of the match.
Trent Alexander Arnold scored Liverpool's opener with a sumptuous free kick after Simon Mignolet had saved an Andrej Kramaric penalty in the 10th minute.
Havard Nordtveit, the former Aston Villa player scored an unfortunate own goal to give Liverpool a two goal lead. With minutes to go, Hoffenheim substitute, Mark Uth smashed home a consolation which gave hope to the Bundesliga outfit for the second leg. On that note, here are the player ratings from the Champions League qualifier between TSC Hoffenheim and Liverpool:
Oliver Baumann: 7/10
Liverpool's threatening front three meant that Baumann had his work cut out. Though some would argue that he could have done better for Alexander Arnold's free kick, it was a decent night for the custodian. He made 8 stops in 90 minutes and was quick with his passing as Hoffenheim often played out from the back.
Ermin Bicakcic: 5/10
The right sided centre back looked off the pace and just couldn't handle the pace of Sadio Mane. He made some untimely positional errors and was understandably taken off in the 51st minute.
Kevin Vogt: 6.5/10
Hoffenheim's crucial cog was a universal presence at the back and had a hand in some match saving tackles.
He chased down Mohamed Salah when the Egyptian was through on goal; a feat not many can do in Europe. Vogt had a passing percentage of 96% and made 104 accurate passes in the game.
Benjamin Hubner: 7/10
Hubner did well to keep Salah quiet for the majority of the time and was brilliant as an aerial presence too. He looked the most assured in the back three with his only shortcoming coming in an attacking instance in stoppage time. Hubner could have levelled the score from a set piece but missed an open header from just 6 yards out.
Pavel Kaderabek: 5.5/10
The fullback did well offensively to overlap and provide an extra man forward. But that meant Kaderabek was out of his position on many occasions which helped Sadio Mane to cause havoc.
Steven Zuber: 6/10
Zuber had to do a lot in defence but he managed to do that well. He was up against Alexander Arnold and Salah on the right flank but always looked like he was up for the challenge. He was good in the air and also made two crucial interceptions on the right flank.
Lukas Rupp: 5/10
The midfielder went largely unnoticed in his 53 minutes performance as he could not influence much on the proceedings. He gave away possession on many occasions but covered well in defence.
Kerim Demirbay: 7.5/10
The midfielder was Hoffenheim's best player on the night. Dictating the game, he sprayed some delightful long balls in the first half to change flanks and proved to be more than a handful for the Reds. He was also tracking back brilliantly and made as many as 5 successful tackles.
Serge Gnabry: 6/10
Playing as a forward, Gnabry caused many problems to the Liverpool central defensive pairing. He got in behind once but could not bury a one on one chance. The youngster faded away in the second half and was eventually substituted.
Andrej Kramaric: 5/10
The former Leicester man had a glorious opportunity to put Hoffenheim ahead but took a half-hearted penalty straight at Mignolet. He never really recovered from that miss and largely underperformed.
Sandro Wagner: 7/10
Wagner was not supposed to start after battling with an injury but turned out to be a mind game from Hoffenheim. Wagner looked sharp with his hold up play being brilliant. He attempted three shots with one of them hitting the outside of the post. The German forward looked threatening all night and will feel unlucky not to score a goal.
Havard Nordtveit: 5/10
Replacing Bicakcic, Nordtveit failed to do the needful and was often found wanting by Sadio Mane. On top of that, he scored an unfortunate own goal after rushing to block a cross from James Milner.
Nadiem Amiri: 5.5/10
The midfielder looked too eager at times to make an impression and in that effort, committed far too many fouls. He had one shot on target which went straight into the hands of Mignolet.
Mark Uth: 8/10
Uth proved to be the difference maker for Hoffenheim with his superbly taken goal keeping his side in the tie. Uth had a 100% shot accuracy and a 100% passing percentage. He will be in contention for a start in the second leg.