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Own goal seals Liverpool win at Hoffenheim

16 Août 2017

Liverpool overcame the Bundesliga outfit 2-1 in the first leg of their Champions League play-off thanks to an own goal from Havard Nordtveit and Trent Alexander-Arnold's exquisite first half free-kick.

Hoffenheim were much the better side in the first half, and on 11 minutes Serge Gnabry nutmegged Dejan Lovren in the box, who couldn't get out of his way and had no choice but to concede a penalty.

"I can assure you that our commitment will be the same at Anfield".

Given how numerous underdogs have enjoyed themselves at Anfield in recent months, it would be unwise for Liverpool to celebrate that one-goal lead just yet.

"We defended a lot of them really well, but at the end is it enough if we concede one goal? No".

The 18-year-old local lad retained his place in the squad after starting against Watford, continuing to deputise for the injured Nathaniel Clyne. If we have any hopes of making a dent in this competition this year then beating Hoffenheim is the least of our worries.

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Manager Jurgen Klopp knows this is a chance they can not afford to squander against Hoffenheim - a tough prospect against a team who finished finished fourth in the Bundesliga - having worked so hard to hang on to a top-four spot last season.

Both sides looked to play on the front foot, but the deadlock was broken from a set-piece as Alexander-Arnold fired in a superb free-kick from around 30 yards out.

Given Liverpool's problems at the back at the moment, Hoffenheim might just be the worst possible opponent for them at this moment in time.

"It is always good to take a lead back to Anfield. The first half is done and if you said before the game we would win, I would take the result", added the German manager, knowing his side not only wasted too many opportunities, but did themselves no favours by giving up a late goal.

"It's a hard situation for Phil and whatever I say won't help matters... but we want Phil to stay because he's a world-class player", Henderson said at his pre-match media conference.

Lovren twice went close with headers while Gnabry rifled in for the hosts after the whistle had gone for offside.