In the absence of unsettled playmaker Philippe Coutinho, Liverpool turned to an 18-year-old right back making his European debut for some set-piece magic in its Champions League playoff win against Hoffenheim on Tuesday.
Talked up at Anfield as a potential star of the future, Alexander-Arnold curled in a free kick from 30 yards (meters) to set Liverpool on its way to a 2-1 victory over a German side making its debut in European competition.
Liverpool — a five-time European champion— is on course to reach the group stage without its star player after Havard Nordtveit inadvertently deflected substitute James Milner’s cross from the left high into his own net to make it 2-0 in the 74th minute.
Substitute Mark Uth gave Hoffenheim a glimmer of hope going into next week’s second leg at Anfield when he chested down a long ball forward and drilled an angled shot into the corner in the 87th.
Former Champions League quarterfinalist APOEL is within touching distance of a return to the competition after goals by Igor De Camargo and Stathis Aloneftis in the first 10 minutes.
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