Emre Can hit a brace as Liverpool made light of Philippe Coutinho’s continued absence with a 4-2 win over Hoffenheim.
Liverpool stormed into the group stages of the Champions League as an irresistible first-half display against Hoffenheim at Anfield secured a 4-2 win and a 6-3 aggregate success.
Jurgen Klopp’s side rode their luck at times during the 2-1 first-leg victory in Germany last week and they were keen to leave no semblance of doubt on home soil.
Midfielder Emre Can was an unlikely goal hero – striking twice either side of Mohamed Salah’s 18th-minute second.
Mark Uth reduced the arrears before an unrelenting contest reached the half hour and Germany international Can almost claimed the matchball before the interval.
Home forwards Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino performed with palpable menace throughout, with the latter adding a fourth as his Brazil team-mate and Barcelona target Philippe Coutinho remained on the sidelines.
Sandro Wagner briefly punctuated the party atmosphere with a 79th-minute consolation but, in this mood, Klopp’s men will not be an opponent desired by Europe’s leading lights when they are placed in pot three for Thursday’s Champions League draw.