German side advance to the next round with a commanding display, their biggest win in Europe this season
The home side ran out comfortable winners with goals from Mohammed Abdellaoue, two own goals from Kanu, and Sergio Pinto, and the result was a fair reflection on the match, with Standard looking lethargic and only sparking into life sporadically.
The hosts started brightly, with Jan Schlaudraff proving a nuisance for the Liege defence from the offset.
The German’s influence was felt shortly after as his cross could only be palmed away by visiting custodian Sinan Bolat, leaving Abdellaoue to finish the simplest of chances and put Hannover into the ascendancy.
Hannover continued to impose themselves on the visitors’ defence and this was displayed just after the 20th minute, as a Lars Stindl fizzed cross was unreachable for the outstretched Bolat, but was met by defender Kanu who was unsuccessful in clearing the fierce drive and as a result put through his own net.
The goal gave Die Roten the breathing space they required and forced Liege to change their approach to the match. This was illustrated as their first real attack of note saw Jelle Van Damme rattle the post, with Kanu unable to put the finish touch to the follow up.
Standard could feel encouraged by the start they made to the second half with Mohammed Tchite looking to spark a reaction from his team-mates.
But with further progress in the competition looking bleak, Standard increased their tempo in the second half as forwards Cyriac and Tchite looked to bring their side back into the contest. Cyriac tested home goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler with a direct volley, but it was a simple save for the German who was rarely troubled.
Things got worse for the visitors as Gapke received a second yellow for a rash tackle, just as his side were beginning to express themselves on the tie.
With 20 minutes remaining, the home side put the tie beyond doubt and comfortably secured their place in the last eight as the luckless Kanu was the victim of another own goal. The Brazilian was on the receiving end of a deflection from team-mate Felipe.
Substitute Didier Ya Konan had a chance to increase the lead even further but could only snatch at another fine Schlaudraff cross.
The impressive Schlaudraff was again involved as a neat move saw Pinto receive a through ball from Konan to finish at the near post and round the tie off in style.
The result sees Mirko Slomka’s team advance to the last eight, with the Europa League draw taking place on Friday lunchtime.