Teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold ensured his European debut was extra special with a brilliant free-kick to set Liverpool on their way to a 2-1 victory in their Champions League play-off first leg against Hoffenheim.

Set-pieces had been the team’s downfall at Watford on Saturday but the 18-year-old, in only his 14th senior appearance, showed there is also a flip-side with a maiden goal the absent wantaway Philippe Coutinho would have been proud of in the 2-0 win.

Simon Mignolet’s save from former Leicester striker Andrej Kramaric’s poor penalty early in the game proved equally as valuable but Havard Nordtveit’s own goal gave them a cushion before Mark Uth’s 87th-minute goal ensured next week’s second leg will not be straightforward.

What they said

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp: “We need Anfield. You saw what an intense game it was. Anfield doesn’t decide anything, but we need to work together and we are looking forward to another European night there.

Tweet of the match

Ex-Liverpool right-back Rob Jones was impressed with the man playing in his former position.

Star man

Trent Alexander-Arnold. The 18-year-old outshone vastly experienced team-mates with a performance full of energy and capped by a brilliant free-kick.

Moment of the match

Trent Alexander-Arnold opened the scoring with a superb free-kick in Hoffenheim
Trent Alexander-Arnold opened the scoring with a superb free-kick in Hoffenheim (Michael Probst/AP)

Alexander-Arnold’s 28-yard free-kick, which was whipped over the seven-man wall and dipped inside the far post.

Data point

The population of Hoffenheim (3,272 in 2006) could fit into the Kop at Anfield almost four times over.

Player ratings

Liverpool: Simon Mignolet 8, Trent Alexander-Arnold 8, Dejan Lovren 5, Joel Matip 6, Alberto Moreno 6, Jordan Henderson 6, Georginio Wijnaldum 6, Emre Can 6, Mohamed Salah 5, Roberto Firmino 5, Sadio Mane 7. Substitutes: James Milner (on for Henderson, 63) 7, Dominic Solanke (on for Firmino, 84) 6, Marko Grujic (on for Mane, 89) 6.

Who’s up next?

Christian Benteke scored for Crystal Palace against his former team last season
Christian Benteke scored for Crystal Palace against his former team last season (Peter Byrne/PA)

Liverpool v Crystal Palace (Premier League, Saturday August 19)