Jurgen Klopp has hailed the “incredible” maturity and composure displayed by Trent Alexander-Arnold following the Liverpool starlet’s superb free kick against Hoffenheim.
The 18-year-old scored his maiden goal for the Reds’ senior side with a terrific set piece strike in Tuesday’s slender 2-1 Champions League play off first-leg victory in Germany.
Speaking after the contest in quotes published by Sky Sports, Klopp revealed his delight at Alexander-Arnold taking on the advice that his boss had given him in the lead up to the tense clash at the Rhein-Neckar Arena.
Klopp said: “I have to say, for an 18-year-old to have the balls to kick a free-kick is better than the mistake.
“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 U23s last season and he took the free-kicks – and the goal is the same size.
Trent Alexander-Arnold scores a freekick for Liverpool that is as spectacular as his name.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) August 15, 2017
“There is a big challenge after training for free-kicks between him and Ben Woodburn. It helps the manager tells him (to take it). It was very important and very good for us.”
Liverpool were good value for their away win against Julian Nagelsmann’s side and head back to Anfield for next week’s return leg with one foot in the group stage draw.
An own goal from Havard Nordtveit handed the Reds something of a cushion before Mark Uth reduced the arrears late on to give Hoffenheim – who saw an early penalty through Andre Kramaric saved by Simon Mignolet – a fighting chance.
Klopp added that he was happy enought to secure a slender advantage from the game, and would have taken any scoreline if it meant that his team had succeeded on the night.
He said: “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.
“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.”