Cody Gakpo’s double fired Liverpool into the Europa League final 16 as they routed LASK 4-0, whereas Brighton superior to the knockout spherical with a 1-0 win at AEK Athens on Thursday. Jurgen Klopp’s aspect sealed prime spot in Group E due to Gakpo’s brace and objectives from Luis Diaz and Mohamed Salah at Anfield. Second-placed Toulouse’s 0-0 draw in opposition to Union Saint-Gilloise within the different group recreation means Klopp can relaxation gamers for his group’s final remaining pool stage fixture.
Europa League group winners undergo to the final 16 robotically, whereas the runners-up play in a two-legged knockout spherical play-off in February in opposition to a group who end third in a Champions League group.
“An important factor is that we’re on the head of the group and that received’t change in order that’s good,” Klopp stated.
“There was some good soccer however this recreation ought to have been put to mattress earlier than half-time. We didn’t do this, however it’s improbable to win 4-0.”
Klopp made 9 adjustments from the aspect which drew with Premier League champions Manchester Metropolis final Saturday, with Salah and Kostas Tsimikas the one gamers to maintain their locations.
Rising to satisfy Joe Gomez’s cross, Diaz netted his first purpose at Anfield since August as his header raced previous LASK keeper Tobias Lawal within the twelfth minute.
Having opened the scoring, Diaz helped arrange Liverpool’s second three minutes later when he picked out Salah, who teed-up Gakpo to web from close-range.
Salah killed off the out-classed Austrians within the 51st minute, stroking residence a penalty for his thirteenth purpose this season after Gakpo was fouled by Lawal.
Dutch ahead Gakpo capped the demolition with a fierce strike in stoppage-time.
In contrast to Liverpool’s wealthy historical past in continental competitors, Brighton are competing in Europe for the primary time and the Seagulls’ journey will proceed into the New 12 months due to Joao Pedro’s winner in Greece.
Damian Szymanski fouled Joao Pedro within the fifty fifth minute and the Brazilian striker picked himself as much as slot residence the penalty.
AEK’s destiny was sealed once they have been decreased to 10 males within the eighty fifth minute when Mijat Gacinovic earned a second reserving for a foul on Joel Veltman.
Roberto De Zerbi’s aspect are second in Group B, one level behind Marseille following the French aspect’s dramatic 4-3 win over 10-man Ajax.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a hat-trick for Marseille, together with the winner with a penalty three minutes into stoppage-time.
Within the midst of a wretched season, Ajax had Steven Berghuis despatched off within the 63rd minute and have been consigned to elimination by their late defeat.
“Who is aware of how far we are able to go?” Brighton captain Lewis Dunk stated. “We need to win it and also you’ve bought to dream large to realize it.”
Soucek strikes late
West Ham moved into the knockout spherical after Tomas Soucek’s 89th minute purpose noticed off Backa Topola 1-0 in Serbia.
Second-placed Freiburg thrashed Olympiakos 5-0 to hitch Group A leaders West Ham within the knockout spherical.
There’s a three-way battle for qualification from Group C after third-placed Sparta Prague beat leaders Actual Betis 1-0, whereas second-placed Rangers drew 1-1 with Aris Limassol.
Atalanta wrapped up prime spot in Group D after a 1-1 draw in opposition to second-placed Sporting Lisbon, who’re additionally by to the knockout spherical.
Rennes’ 3-0 win in opposition to Maccabi Haifa took the French group to the highest of Group F and into the knockout spherical, with Villarreal becoming a member of them after their 3-2 victory over Panathinaikos.
Slavia Prague’s 3-2 win at Sheriff sealed their knockout spherical place from Group G and Roma additionally superior with a 1-1 draw at Servette.
Bayer Leverkusen undergo to the final 16 as Group H winners after beating Hacken 2-0.
Within the Europa Convention League, crowd troubled marred Aston Villa’s 2-1 win in opposition to Legia Warsaw as three law enforcement officials have been injured in clashes with Polish followers.
The sport was performed with Legia supporters saved out of the stadium following the pre-match violence, which included flares and missiles being hurled at police.