Liverpool's Emre Can celebrates scoring his side's first goal during the Champions League qualifying playoff second-leg match against Hoffenheim at Anfield.
Liverpool's Emre Can celebrates scoring his side's first goal during the Champions League qualifying playoff second-leg match against Hoffenheim at Anfield. Dave Thompson

Liverpool into Champions League after playoff victory

EMRE Can struck twice as Liverpool convincingly defeated Hoffenheim 4-2 at Anfield to reach the Champions League group phase for only the second time since 2010.

Germany midfielder Can found the net twice in the opening 21 minutes, either side of Mohamed Salah's first Anfield goal following his move from Roma, before substitute Mark Uth replied for the visitors.

Hoffenheim old boy Roberto Firmino netted a fourth goal in the second half and Sandro Wagner's late header proved anecdotal as Jurgen Klopp's men completed a 6-3 aggregate victory.

Now unbeaten in 15 home games against German teams, Liverpool will learn its group-stage opponents in Friday morning's draw in Monaco, which will feature five English clubs for the first time.

Liverpool joins Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City, who qualified via the English Premier League, and Manchester United, which engineered its Champions League return by winning last season's Europa League.

Liverpool will be making its first appearance in the Champions League proper since 2014-15, when it was eliminated in the group stage.

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