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Dublin: 12 °C Thursday 24 May, 2018


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Hello, and welcome to today’s liveblog.

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the game. E-mail, tweet @the42_ie, post a message to our Facebook wall, or leave a comment below.

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Kick of is at 7.45pm.

It’s Damien Duff, Eamon Dunphy and Liam Brady along with presenter Joanne Cantwelll on the RTÉ panel tonight.

As usual, the lads aren’t shy to express a strong opinion — all three pundits seem mystified as to why Moreno is starting at left-back ahead of Robertson and Milner.


We’re under way…


Early chances for Liverpool!

Alexander-Arnold’s free kick is deflected into the path of Salah, who can’t find the target with his header.

Moments later, Mane finds himself one-on-one with the goalkeeper after a beautiful through ball by Firmino, but the goalkeeper spreads himself well and makes the crucial save.



A cross is played to Gnabry, who misses the target with the goal at his mercy.

He’ll be relieved to know the linesman had flagged for offside.


Mane is played through again.

He slows up before playing a lovely backheel to Can.

The German international’s subsequent edge-of-the-area finish finds the back of the net via a wicked deflection.


This game is very open and entertaining to watch, much like the first leg.

Hoffenheim simply can’t deal with the pace and movement of Liverpool’s attack.

Mane, in particular, is causing havoc with his acceleration and intelligent runs.


Firmino’s cross finds Mane, whose effort comes off the post, but Salah is on hand to slot home the rebound.

This could get ugly for Hoffenheim if they’re not careful.


Another Mane backheel finds Firmino, whose cross is slotted home by Can.

5-1 on aggregate now and that’s game over surely.


Liverpool have been a joy to watch going forward, but Hoffenheim have just collapsed.

There are more goals in this game for the Reds if they want them.

Meanwhile, Hoffenheim make an early change, as Nordtveit comes off for Uth, who scored the German side’s only goal in the last leg.


All of a sudden, Liverpool are opened up, as Gnabry races in behind Alexander-Arnold, but the ex-Arsenal player’s finish is poor as he clips the ball over Mignolet but sends it wide.

That’s just a reminder to the hosts that they cannot afford to get too complacent.


Lovren’s sloppiness is punished, as he concedes possession.

Consequently, Uth, with virtually his first act after coming on, fires the ball past Mignolet into the corner of the net to claim his second goal of the tie.


Hoffenheim need three more goals to avoid being knocked out of the Champions League.

A comeback by the Germans is unlikely, but given how crazy the match has been so far, it’s hard to completely rule out.


Mane continues to pose problems as Liverpool pour forward.

As I type, Firmino gets on the end of Salah’s cross, but the Brazilian attacker’s attempt is straight at Baumann.

The Reds certainly aren’t prepared to sit back and hold onto their lead.


On the left wing, Gnabry beats Alexander-Arnold, who has had an uncomfortable evening so far.

The Hoffenheim star bursts forward, outpacing Henderson, before being tackled by Matip.


Gnabry fires a shot from the edge of the area just wide.

Hoffenheim certainly haven’t given up on this match yet.


The ball falls to Can just inside the box and he curls an attempt narrowly wide.

The game remains ridiculously open.


Uth finds himself in plenty of space again and forces a save from Mignolet.

Whichever of these two teams progresses will need to seriously address their defensive issues.


The second half has begun…


Hoffenheim have begun this half brightly, with Liverpool pinned back.

Wagner had a glimpse of goal a moment ago inside the Reds’ area, but the ball got away from him.


Liverpool are playing the second half at a slower tempo than the first.

As I type, however, Salah plays through Wijnaldum, whose powerful finish goes over the bar via a deflection off the goalkeeper’s shoulder.


Liverpool concede possession in their final third, before Uth’s driven cross eludes everyone.

Meanwhile, Hoffenheim make a second change, as Szalai replaces Gnabry.


Mane finds space and shoots powerfully from a tight angle, forcing Baumann to tip the ball over the bar.

It feels like there are a few more goals left in this game.


Wijnaldum again tests Baumann, after good work from Alexander-Arnold.

This is a good spell for Liverpool.


Henderson beats Vogt to a 50:50 before the midfielder unselfishly rolls it to Firmino, who comfortably taps the ball into the gaping goal.

Game over.


James Milner replaces Emre Can, who won’t be getting his hat-trick tonight.

I hesitate to say it’s plain sailing for Liverpool from here, given how poorly they’ve been defending of late, but there’s no doubt they have the tie wrapped up now.




That’s a very disappointing goal to concede from a Liverpool perspective.

Kramaric has all the time in the world to cross the ball, and Wagner heads home to make it 6-3 on aggregate.



Firmino times his run well to find himself in acres of space on the right.

His cross, however, is far too close to Baumann, who collects the ball comfortably.


Firmino almost scores again, but his shot from a tight angle hits the side-netting.

Meanwhile, Mane has been replaced by Klavan in a defensive change by Liverpool.


There will be three minutes of added time…


Flag 90Mins


Right, that’s all from me, thanks for reading and commenting.

You can read our full report of the game here.

About the author:

Paul Fennessy


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