We’re one step closer towards the start of the 2017-18 Champions League group stage. Liverpool withstood pressure from Hoffenheim to get an important 2-1 win away from home in the first leg. Qarabağ of Azerbaijan, APOEL from Cyprus and CSKA Moscow also had narrow wins in their encounters. Sporting and Steaua finished their promising encounter in a disappointing goalless draw.
Qarabağ 1 FC Copenhagen 0: The Azerbaijani champions took a huge step towards making history and becoming the first club from the country to appear in the Champions League, beating FC Copenhagen 1-0 through a Mahir Madatov goal in the 25th minute.
APOEL 2 Slavia Prague 0: An early blitz by the Cypriots was enough to get an important 2-goal lead in the first leg, with Igor de Camargo and Efstathios Aloneftis scoring twice within the first 10 minutes.
Young Boys 0 CSKA Moscow 1: A 0-0 draw in Switzerland would have been a good result for CSKA Moscow, but a foolish own goal by Kasim Nuhu should make things even easier in the second leg.
Hoffenheim 1 Liverpool 2: A tricky encounter for Liverpool which they managed to make easy, with a little bit of luck. Andrej Kramaric of Hoffenheim missed a penalty kick in the 12th minute (which shouldn’t have been called), poorly shooting straight to the middle for Simon Mignolet to parry. Trent Alexander-Arnold scored for Liverpool in the 35th minute with a stunning curler from a free kick. In the second half, James Milner made it 2-0 off a deflection, but Liverpool couldn’t finish a match without conceding – Mark Uth scored for Hoffenheim in the 87th minute.
Sporting 0 Steaua 0: Despite the 0-0 draw in Lisbon, it’s wide open between both teams heading into the second league in Bucharest.