Jürgen Klopp was satisfied with his side’s 2-1 victory over Hoffenheim and the German was especially pleased with how Trent Alexander-Arnold performed.
The Reds ran out 2-1 victors on Tuesday night against German side Hoffenheim in the first leg of their Champions League qualifying fixture, setting up the second leg at Anfield perfectly.
While manager Jürgen Klopp wasn’t too happy about conceding a late goal to allow Hoffenheim a sniff when they visit Merseyside next week, the German admitted he was just thankful to have come out of the 90 minutes with a win.
“I think it helps completely when you think that two-and-a-half hours ago, if somebody would have told me we’d win tonight I would’ve taken each result, even an 8-7,” Klopp conceded.
“So I’m happy about the result, yes, I’m not happy about the goal they scored. I think they deserved a goal over the 90 minutes with their effort, but I also thought we played defensively really well.”
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“It was actually the plan to let them play in the spaces which are for us, not dangerous, not interesting and they have a specific style of play which is very good and really difficult to defend. so I thought we did really well and caused them a lot of problems with this.”
Of course, the highlight and major talking point for most is the goal scored by 18-year-old Trent Alexander-Arnold who bravely stepped up to take a free kick in the first half, burying it with aplomb. An action which the manager applauded.
“I have to say for an 18-year-old who has the confidence to kick a free-kick like that, that is rather exciting and interesting for me than a little mistake,” said the boss.
“It was a very intensive match for him, he still has a little few things to learn, but he is a really great player and I’d rather have this 2-1 than a 1-0. It was actually because I told him he has to do it. I don’t want the credit for the free-kick because he can shoot free-kicks better than I ever could!
“Maybe it was a little bit lucky, you saw it because the wall did not jump, but it was a very good free-kick and very important for us.”
— LFC Round Up (@LFCroundup) August 15, 2017
Alexander-Arnold himself was slightly more humble about the feat, insisting he was just happy it went in and meant the team return to Anfield with two away goals and a lead.
“Obviously it’s a thing of dreams to make your European debut for your boyhood club. And to mark it with a goal as well was very special for me,” he told BT Sport.
“More importantly, we got the win. We’ll still be a little bit disappointed with the late goal, but it’s always good to take a lead back to Anfield.
“I kind of got egged on to do it, to be honest (take the free kick)! I didn’t put my hand up at first. But I had the confidence to finally take it and it paid off!”