Liverpool secured their place in the UEFA Champions League Group Stages – after racing into a 3-0 lead after just twenty minutes versus Hoffenheim.
The Reds now lead 5-2 on aggregate at half-time at Anfield – with the goals coming courtesy of a brace from Emre Can and another from Mohammed Salah.
Liverpool enjoyed great joy down the left-hand side, with the first goal coming courtesy of a break which saw Roberto Firmino release Sadio Mane – who backheeled the ball to Can – whose strike took a heavy deflection before finding the bottom corner.
The second came from similar circumstances – Firmino finding Georginio Wijnaldum in the box – his shot hit the post but Salah stayed onside and was on hand to turn home the rebound to all but kill the tie.
A scintillating backheel from Mane again released Firmino down the left – and he found Can to make it 3-0 with a beautiful counter-attacking goal.
Hoffenheim have added a consolation goal courtesy of Mark Uth to make it 3-1, but the damage was done in that first 20 minutes and Jurgen Klopp’s side rode the game out to seal a 4-2 victory on the night, 6-3 in aggregate, to take their place in Thursday’s draw.
Jordan Norris, Pundit Arena
On this week’s episode of the Mixer Irish football podcast, we catch up with Sligo Rovers striker Vinny Faherty after that brilliant win at Cork City last weekend, as well as looking back at last weekend’s Premier Divison matches and ahead to this weekend’s FAI Cup action.