Liverpool hammer Hoffenheim to secure Champions League football

UEFA Champions League Qualifying Play-Off

Liverpool 4-2 Hoffenheim (Agg. 6-3)

Liverpool secured their place in the Champions League group stages with a thumping 4-2 win over Hoffenheim to progress 6-3 on aggregate.

Holding a 2-1 advantage from the first leg in Germany, Liverpool answered the call from a raucous Anfield crowd by racing into a 3-0 lead inside 21 minutes.

Emre Can bagged his first brace for the club which sandwiched a Mohamed Salah strike.

Roberto Firmino added gloss to the comfortable victory in the second half while the Germans, who created plenty of openings, netted through Mark Uth and Sandro Wagner.

Liverpool will find out their opponents in Europe’s elite competition at 5pm on Thursday.

It was clear from the way Liverpool pressed on early with Saido Mane and Salah, that Jurgen Klopp had called for an energetic start. His team had the game wrapped up with just 21 minutes on the clock after a pulsating period of attacking play that showed there could well be life without Phillipe Coutinho if they are to let him leave for Barcelona.

Emre Can stole the headlines with a brace tonight.

Can was released through by a wonderful back-heel on 11 minutes and fired home before Salah headed past Oliver Baumann seven minutes later.

Hoffenheim continued to play with a high line, which made it easy for Liverpool to create opening. Firmino raced down the left on 21 minutes and put a cross on a plate for Can to hammer home.

Julian Nagelsmann was forced to changed his system and sent on Uth, who took just four minutes to make an impact as he fired past Simon Mignolet on 29 minutes.

Liverpool added to their tally when Jordan Henderson powered through a tackle with Kevin Vogt and powered on towards the box just after the hour before sliding in Firmino, who couldn’t miss.

Hoffenheim grabbed another consolation when former Leicester forward Andrej Kramaric teed up a header for Wagner.

The scoreline ensured Liverpool’s place in the group stages for the first time since 2014-15.

Who needs Coutinho?

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