By Masoom Kalra,
For the first 35 minutes, Hoffenheim the European debutants delivered the type of high energy game to the reds, who could hardly have complained had Andrej Karamaric’s penalty handed the hosts the lead and not invited a simple Simon Mignloet save. Reds were surely struggling to create chances in the 1st half.
But Alexander Arnold, swept an exquisite free kick into the corner of the Hoffenheim goal 10 mintues before half time.
Liverpool squad created furter chances and looked promising for a nervy finish until Milner’s cross-cum-shot drifted over the Hoffenheim’s keeper, which seemingly led the reds to secure the victorynat a stadium where Hoffenheim were unbeaten in the Bundesliga last season.
However the substitue Uth drifted in behind klopp’s defence with three minutes remaining to lash a superb effort past mignolet and keep the German side in the tie going into the secong leg next week.
Liverpool’s back line looked shaky from the start and Dejan Lovern had already survived one penalty appeal for handball.
But Kramaric’s subdued penalty bailed out the Red’s defender, allowing Mignolet to firmly palm clear, and Mohamed Salah shouldnhave then put the visitors in front as he ran from the halfway line and nudged a tired finish past the right hand post.
However, a moment of outstanding quality from Alexander Arnold halted the hosts in their tracks, the 18 year old firing a glittering 25 yard free kick beyond Baumann.
With 16 minutes remaining, the second goal did arrive, Milner, in space on the left flank, arose to look for a team with right footed cross but instead found Nordbveit’s
Chest and subsequently the far top corner.
And the hosts should have equalised in stoppage time when Benjamin Hubner nodded Demirbay’s set piece inches over the crossbar, but Liverpool held on somehow.
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