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Rediff.com  » Sports » Europa League PIX: Big win for Liverpool; West Ham top group

Europa League PIX: Big win for Liverpool; West Ham top group

Last updated on: December 01, 2023 16:28 IST
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IMAGES from the Europa League matches played on Thursday.

Liverpool's Conor Bradley celebrates with manager Juergen Klopp after the match against LASK Linz at Anfield, Liverpool on Thursday

IMAGE: Liverpool's Conor Bradley celebrates with manager Juergen Klopp after the match against LASK Linz at Anfield, Liverpool on Thursday. Photograph: Molly Darlington/Reuters

Liverpool eased into the Europa League round of 16 with a 4-0 home win over Austria's LASK in Group E and Olympique de Marseille secured a top-two finish in Group B after a thrilling 4-3 win over Ajax Amsterdam on Thursday.

Premier League Liverpool moved on to 12 points and will top the standings after second-placed Toulouse were held to a goalless draw at home by Union Saint Gilloise.

Luis Diaz put Liverpool ahead after 12 minutes with a header from Joe Gomez's cross and Cody Gapko's tap-in doubled the lead three minutes later.

Mohamed Salah's penalty made it 3-0 early in the second half and Gapko added his second in stoppage time to complete the rout.

 

Marseille advanced from the group stage with victory over 10-man Ajax thanks to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's hat-trick completed late in stoppage time.

Ajax had levelled three times, Brian Brobbey scoring twice, but they had Steven Berghuis sent off in the second half following a challenge on Joaquin Correa.

Villarreal also progressed to the knockout stages with a 3-2 win Panathinaikos in Group F after the Greek side fought back from 3-0 down.

Rangers drew 1-1 with Aris Limassol and the Scottish team remained in contention for a top-two spot in Group C with seven points, one ahead of Sparta Prague who beat leaders Real Betis 1-0.

Bayern Leverkusen confirmed their place in the round of 16 as Group H winners with a 2-0 win over BK Hacken. Qarabag and Molde are still looking to secure a playoff place as runners-up after their 2-2 draw.

Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku scored for AS Roma but they failed to secure victory over Servette as Chris Bedia equalised for the Swiss side in a 1-1 draw in Group G.

Slavia Prague made notable progress towards claiming top spot in the group with a 3-2 win over Sheriff thanks to Muhamed Tijani's stoppage-time penalty.

Roma and Slavia Prague will finish in the top two places in the group but Slavia have a two-point advantage heading into the final group games.

West Ham advance with late win, Brighton seal top-two place

TSC Backa Topola's Nemanja Petrovic in action with West Ham United's Divin Mubama during their Europa League Group A match at FK TSC Stadium, Backa Topola, Serbia

IMAGE: TSC Backa Topola's Nemanja Petrovic in action with West Ham United's Divin Mubama during their Europa League Group A match at FK TSC Stadium, Backa Topola, Serbia. Photograph: Marko Djurica/Reuters

Tomas Soucek scored a late goal to earn West Ham United a 1-0 win over Backa Topola in Serbia on Thursday and secure a top-two finish in Europa League Group A.

Soucek struck one minute from time, evading his marker and volleying home a cross with his outstretched right leg.

Defences dominated a dull game and the hosts had the better opportunities to break the deadlock until the closing stages.

West Ham lead the standings with 12 points, level with German side Freiburg who the English team host in the final round of matches on Dec. 14.

Michael Gregoritsch's hat-trick earned Freiburg a top-two spot as they thrashed visiting Olympiakos 5-0.

Joao Pedro's second-half penalty gave Brighton & Hove Albion a 1-0 win over 10-man AEK Athens to secure a top-two place in Group B and avenge their defeat by the Greeks in their opening match.

Brighton host Marseille in the final group game.

Sparta Prague edged Real Betis 1-0 with a second-half goal from Lukas Haraslin as they await the result of the Rangers v Aris Limassol match to decide the top two places of Group C.

Atalanta qualified for the round of 16 by securing top spot in Group D with 11 points after a 1-1 draw against Sporting Lisbon who remained second with eight points.

Stade Rennais moved top of Group F with a 2-0 win over Maccabi Haifa. Second-placed Villarreal will confirm their place in the last 16 if they beat Panathinaikos.

Mourinho criticises Roma's 'superficial approach' after Servette draw

AS Roma manager Jose Mourinho said some of his players had adopted a "superficial approach" in Thursday's Europa League game against Servette in Geneva after the hosts fought back in the second half for a 1-1 draw.

Mourinho's side took the lead in the first half through Romelu Lukaku but Servette pegged them back shortly after halftime through Chris Bedia.

The point leaves Roma second in Group G, two points behind Slavia Prague.

“I really don't understand. I've played 150 matches in the Champions League that are much more 'important' than this and my motivation for these matches is sky-high," Mourinho said.

"It seems that some people who don't have much European experience play these games somewhat superficially.

"It's always the same lads who stay focused for 90 minutes and I don't need to name them. Then there are people who have a bit of a superficial approach in this type of game.

"It's a shame we didn't have a camera in the dressing room at halftime because I always hammer it into them. I warn them about going out for the second half against a team losing 1-0 at home.

"We took that moment of the game too lightly," the former Chelsea, Manchester United and Real Madrid manager added.

If Roma finish second in the group they would go into a playoff against a team dropping down from the Champions League for a place in the round of 16.

"I don't think being in the playoffs is a disaster," Mourinho said.

"Obviously it's going to be difficult but it's also motivating ... we'll have another big European night at a packed-out Olimpico."

Roma will host bottom side Sheriff Tiraspol on Dec. 14 in their final group match while third-placed Servette visit Prague before dropping to the Europa Conference League.

Legia Warsaw fans barred from Aston Villa match, three police injured

Fans of Polish side Legia Warsaw were barred entry to their match at Aston Villa on Thursday following clashes with police outside the stadium in which authorities said three officers were injured.

The unrest occurred ahead of kickoff in the Europa Conference League game at Villa Park, and the police denied entry to travelling fans, leaving the away stand empty.

"We're currently unable to allow away fans into Villa Park following disorder outside the stadium which has seen missiles thrown at officers," Birmingham Police said in a statement.

"Three officers have already been injured and a significant policing operation continues."

Legia Warsaw said Aston Villa had given the Polish club a lower allocation of tickets than they were entitled to under UEFA regulations.

"Instead of defusing potential pre-match tensions, Aston Villa F.C.'s restrictive measures as the host club unnecessarily exacerbate the atmosphere. In our view, such measures are counterproductive and unwarranted," Legia Warsaw said in a translated statement.

Aston Villa did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

"No away fans were allowed into Villa Park for this evening’s UEFA Europa Conference League fixture with Legia Warsaw on the advice of West Midlands Police following large-scale disorder outside the stadium caused by visiting supporters," the Premier League club said in a statement on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

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Source: REUTERS
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