James Milner’s early penalty sealed Liverpool’s progression to the last 16 of the Europa League with a 1-0 victory over Augsburg at Anfield.
After a goalless stalemate in Germany, Jurgen Klopp named a strong side for Thursday’s second leg despite the prospect of the League Cup final in three days’ time and the hosts were set on their way when Milner opened the scoring five minutes in thanks to a bizarre handball from Dominik Kohr.
Aside from a couple of scares at the back, the hosts dominated the remainder of the first half as the attacking trio of Daniel Sturridge, Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino caused plenty of problems.
An away goal would have kept Augsburg’s maiden European campaign alive, however, as Klopp once again saw Liverpool struggle to put their opponents to the sword.
Sturridge and Firmino spurned chances while Augsburg’s best opportunity fell to Tobias Werner as Liverpool did things the hard way ahead of their trip to Wembley to face Manchester City.
Caiuby threatened a shaky Liverpool early on but the home side – who had Lucas Leiva in defence ahead of Kolo Toure – settled any early nerves when they took the lead through Milner.
Kohr handled in the area after being barged by team-mate Caiuby, allowing the experienced midfielder to tuck the ball home to Marwin Hitz’s left.