Liverpool are back into the Champions League after beating Hoffenheim over two legs in the third round playoff match. The second leg at Anfield was a fairly one sided game which Liverpool won 4-2 (6-3 on aggregate) thanks to goals from Emre Can, Roberto Firmino and a first Anfield goal for Mohamed Salah.
The Reds came flying out of the blocks and took the lead after only 10 minutes thanks to Emre Can who’s deflected shot found the net. It didn’t take long for it to get even better for Liverpool as Salah made it two eight minutes later after hitting in the rebound off a shot that came back out off the post. A few minutes later Emre Can got his second of the game after a superb move set Firmino free to chip the ball to the back post where the German was waiting for an easy finish.
Hoffenheim did pull one back but it made no difference as Henderson stole the ball back after a high press and was through on goal. He unselfishly squared the ball to Firmino who finished off the move. His celebration was a strange one. He pulled down his shorts slightly and carried out a ridiculous dance. No idea what he was doing!
Hoffenheim later pulled another goal back but it was just a consolation as Liverpool saw the game out and booked their place in the group stage of the Champions League.
My Man of the Match: Roberto Firmino
Who could we face in the Group Stage?
Liverpool are in pot 3 along with Spurs. This means that there is a high chance that we will be put into the same group as one of Europe’s elite teams such as Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich or Juventus. As an attacking force Liverpool have the potential to beat any team they are up against, but clearly we would like to avoid these teams.
My opinion on the best possible outcome would be a group consisting of Liverpool, Spartak Moscow, FC Porto and FK Qarabag. The draw for the group stage is later today so we will see who we are up against. Worst possible outcome would probably be a group of Liverpool, Real Mardid, PSG and Celtic.
So how far can be go in this seasons Champions League?
This will all depend on who we draw for the group stages but regardless of who we play I expect Liverpool to make it out the groups games. Quarter finals or semi finals I feel would be a realistic ambition for Liverpool, although there’s no reason why we can’t beat any team over two legs and go on to win our 6th European Cup.
Only time will tell how our season progresses but after the draw later today we should have a better idea of how tough our season is going to be.
You’ll Never Walk Alone.