Belfast Telegraph

Liverpool reach Champions League with convincing Hoffenheim victory

Liverpool 4-2 Hoffenheim (6-3 agg)

Champions League football returns to Liverpool once again.

Liverpool reached the Group Stages of the competition for the first time since the 2014/15 season.

The Reds cantered through with three goals – two from Emre Can and one from Mohamed Salah – inside the opening 20 minutes before Roberto Firmino added a fourth to win 6-3 on aggregate against their Bundesliga rivals Hoffenheim.

The last time the Reds featured in the competition was under Brendan Rodgers where they failed to progress out of the group stage.

Captain Jordan Henderson said Liverpool deserve to be playing Champions League football after the club booked their place in this season's competition.

The Reds reached the group stages of European football's premier club competition with a 6-3 aggregate victory over Hoffenheim.

Emre Can (2), Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino got the goals in Wednesday's 4-2 win at Anfield in the second leg of the play-off qualifier.

And afterwards Henderson said: "It was a brilliant night.

"We set the tempo and scored some good goals early on. We still can improve on the goals we conceded but overall we're delighted to be back in the Champions League, where Liverpool belong.

"We need to make sure we do ourselves justice. They are big nights for everyone and I'm delighted for the fans and the lads."

The draw for the group stages takes place on Thursday and the Wearsider added on BT Sport: "We've proved we can play against big teams and do well. We'll play whoever we get."

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