Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp hailed Trent Alexander-Arnold on Tuesday after he scored a superb free-kick against TSG 1899 Hoffenheim in the first leg of their Champions League play-off.
“I have to say, for an 18-year-old to have the balls to kick a free-kick is better than the mistake,” he said. “He is an incredible young player. It was actually because I told him he had to do it – he was the only one who can. He can shoot free-kicks better than I ever could.
“I told him because I watched him many times for the Under-23s last season and he took the free-kicks – and the goal is the same size.
“There is a big challenge after training for free-kicks between him and Ben Woodburn (the club’s youngest scorer, who does not turn 18 until October).
“It helps the manager tells him (to take it). It was very important and very good for us.”
European debut ✅
First senior #LFC goal ✅
Man of the Match ✅
Trent ? pic.twitter.com/SMxBDsGcWr
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) August 15, 2017
Klopp added that he was happy with the result despite Hoffenheim’s late goal.
“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,” he added. “No I’m not happy with the goal they scored but I think they deserved the goal for their effort over the 90 minutes.
“Yes they had their moments, especially when they changed a little bit their style of play. But we were very offensive on both wings and that left Trent and Alberto (Moreno) alone.”
Hoffenheim coach Julian Naglesmann said that his team were unfortunate to lose.
“I feel we played a really good match, especially in the first half and had the better, clearer chances,” he said. “We had two good chances with (Serge) Gnabry and the penalty, which was a bit unlucky.
“We didn’t allow loads of counter-attacks and then came the free-kick – and that was unlucky for us. The second goal Milner let himself celebrate but the shot was deflected so it was unlucky. We weren’t the worst team today but the least lucky.”