Hoffenheim old boy Roberto Firmino netted a fourth goal in the second half and Sandro Wagner’s late header proved anecdotal as Jurgen Klopp’s men completed a 6-3 aggregate victory.Now unbeaten in 15 home games against German teams, Liverpool will learn their group-stage opponents in Thursday’s draw in Monaco, which will feature five English clubs for the first time.Liverpool join Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City, who qualified via the Premier League, and Manchester United, who engineered their own Champions League return by winning last season’s Europa League.Liverpool will be making their first appearance in the Champions League proper since 2014-15, when they were eliminated in the group stage.Klopp was once again without Barcelona target Philippe Coutinho, who is both ill and nursing a sore back, but the sizzling interplay of Firmino and Sadio Mane meant he was not missed.The five-time European champions took a 10th-minute lead against continental first-timers Hoffenheim courtesy of the first of several delightful interchanges between their forward players.Firmino’s delicately weighted through-ball freed Mane and he back-heeled the ball into the path of Can, whose shot found the net via a heavy deflection off the sliding Havard Nordtveit.Egyptian winger Salah struck in the 18th minute, tapping in from close range after Georginio Wijnaldum’s shot from Firmino’s left-wing cut-back bounced back off the right-hand post.Three minutes later another Mane back-heel yielded another goal, the Senegal winger’s touch releasing Firmino, whose cross was adroitly volleyed home by Can.Hoffenheim coach Julian Nagelsmann took swift action, sending on forward Uth for defender Nordtveit, and four minutes later Dejan Lovren’s loose pass allowed the substitute to reduce the arrears with an angled drive.After Wijnaldum and Mane had gone close, Liverpool added a fourth in the 63rd minute when skipper Jordan Henderson robbed his Hoffenheim counterpart Kevin Vogt and charitably teed up Firmino for a tap-in.Wagner completed the scoring with a header from Andrej Kramaric’s left-wing cross, but by then all hope of a Hoffenheim comeback had vanished.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Emre Can celebrates with teammates after scoring a brace in Liverpool’s win over HoffenheimLIVERPOOL, United Kingdom, Aug 23-Emre Can struck twice as Liverpool convincingly defeated Hoffenheim 4-2 at Anfield on Wednesday to reach the Champions League group phase for only the second time since 2010.Germany midfielder Can found the net twice in the opening 21 minutes, either side of Mohamed Salah’s first Anfield goal following his move from Roma, before substitute Mark Uth replied for the visitors.
Wide receiver was an area of need for the Arizona Cardinals. ButCardinals’ brass has been touting all the while that they won’t draftfor need, instead they opt for the best available player.Well, the worlds of need and talent collided in Arizona’s first rounddraft pick when they selected Notre Dame wide receiver MichaelFloyd with the 13th overall selection of the 2012 NFL Draft.“We got a player who can change field position very quickly, andwhen you couple that with the guys we already have – Larry, Andreand Early – we feel like it gives us a very good receiving corps,”Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt said Thursday night. What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke 0 Comments Share D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Top Stories “There’s been a lot of talk about us needing a number two (receiver)and we’ve said all along that we felt like we’ve had some goodyoung players and we’ve added another player to that mix who’sphysical, fast, big and can make some of those back shouldercatches and red zone plays.”Floyd starred for four years at Notre Dame, and leaves South Bendas the school’s all-time leading receiver with 271 catches. But healso had a tumultuous stay in South Bend that included an arrestfor DUI and a team suspension. Apparently, those did not serve asred flags for the Cardinals’ organization during their pre-draft visitwith Floyd.“One of the things that stood out to me was his honesty,”Whisenhunt said. “We asked him some pretty tough questionsabout his past and he was very honest.“We emphasized the importance to him about some of our playersand how important they are to the community and what types ofrole models they are.”The immediate thought by most Cardinal fans when Floyd’s namewas called was how Floyd would be able to learn from Pro Bowlreceiver Larry Fitzgerald. But Floyd will help Fitz and others as well. Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation “It gives us another target, which we think will help take pressureoff the quarterback,” Whisenhunt said. “Obviously, we’re excitedabout potentially taking pressure off of Larry. A lot of defenses arescheming to try and do that.” Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away