Skip to main content

Klopp excited by 'incredible' Alexander-Arnold after starring role in Liverpool win

Jurgen Klopp hailed the courage of Trent Alexander-Arnold, describing the defender as an "incredible" talent after his starring role in the victory over Hoffenheim.

The 18-year-old scored an impressive free-kick as the Reds earned a 2-1 away victory in the first leg of their Champions League play-off tie on Tuesday.

Alexander-Arnold, making his European debut, was partly to blame for Hoffenheim's late goal through Mark Uth as the home striker got in behind him, but Klopp was focusing on the positives.

"He is an incredible young player," Klopp told reporters.

"I have to say for an 18-year-old to have the balls to kick a free-kick like that is more interesting and exciting for me than a little mistake he made.

"It was an intensive game for him. He has still some things to learn. He thought it was offside but it was obviously not offside, unfortunately. Trent is a great player and I have to say I would rather have 2-1 than 1-0.

"He took it because I told him he has to do it. I don't take credit for the free-kick because he takes them better than I ever could. 

"But I watched as many under-23 games as I could last season and he took many of the free-kicks then. The goal is the same size even if the wall is not as tall. 

"There is always a big challenge between him and Ben Woodburn with free-kicks after training. It was good. He was lucky the wall didn't jump but it was a very important moment for us."

See more

The second leg at Anfield takes place next Wednesday, with Liverpool in a strong position to reach the group stages.

Klopp added: "If somebody told me we would win tonight we would take each result - even an 8-7 - and so I am happy about the result.

"No I'm not happy with the goal they scored but I think they deserved the goal for their effort over the 90 minutes."