Liverpool 4 Hoffenheim 2

The puzzle isn’t solved.  At one end of the pitch Liverpool look like classical composers [forget heavy metal] with all kinds of orchestral manoeuvres in the dark even if their supposed conductor has gone AWOL – or doing a bit of swinging the lead.  At the other end Liverpool just looked in the dark and although the history books won’t show it, the Germans could have hauled themselves back into the game such was the uncertainty of our defending.  It’s not just the full backs, or the central pairing it’s the whole combination including those in midfield who are supposed to be giving a bit of cover.  At times they look too casual other times simply incompetent but if nothing else it made for a very watchable ninety odd minutes of football.  The first twenty minutes would be shown countless times had it been Real Madrid or another English team regardless of whom and what the opposition constituted.  It was as good as the first twenty minutes against Arsenal a few years back and three could have been six.  The pace we had upfront was almost unfair on the Germans and Emre Can looked world class during the opening salvo of brilliance.  If Barça want to pay us £130m [see latest quotes] for Coutinho, how much for Manè should a bid ever come?  In the end the fourth best team from England beat the fourth best team from Germany and that’s all we really wanted.

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