Liverpool cruise past Toulouse as Endo scores his first goal for the Reds
Jugen Klopp’s side secured their third victory in the UEFA Europa League this season as Liverpool cruised past Toulouse 5-1 in what was a dominant performance at Anfield.
Diogo Jota put the away side a goal up after nine minutes, winning the ball in the middle of the park, before driving towards the goal to lash the ball into the back of the net.
While it was a brilliant start from Liverpool, thanks to the Portuguese forward’s moment of magic, Klopp will be disappointed with his side’s defending, allowing the Ligue 1 side back into the match less than seven minutes later.
It was a stunning piece of play from Toulouse, countering on Liverpool with Aron Donnum receiving the ball on the half-way line. He turned to play a perfectly weighted pass to Thijs Dallinga on the overlap, and he sped forward to hit a low shot past Caoimhin Kelleher.
It was an all-action opening half hour, with Liverpool hitting back after 30 minutes. Trent Alexander-Arnold clipped a brilliant ball into the penalty area, before one of the smallest players on the field, Wataru Endo rose high into the air to head home his first goal in a Liverpool shirt.
The Reds were to score another in the space of four minutes, with Curtis Jones having a shot deflected by the Toulouse defenders, before Darwin Nunez found himself in possession on the left side of the penalty area, before hammering the ball into the roof of the net.
After the break, Nunez found himself in acres of space in the Toulouse half, charging forwards to round the goalkeeper and have a shot at goal. But remarkably, having already done the hard work, struck the post but it did not matter, with Ryan Gravenberch following up to tap in the fourth.
Klopp brought on Mohamed Salah late in the match and he wrapped up the game in the dying moments of injury time, rattling the cross bar before the ball bounced into the net, to secure a dominant 5-1 win.
Brighton secure first Europa League victory
Brighton secured their first win in Europe with a 2-0 victory against four-time European Cup winners Ajax.
It took the home side 42 minutes to take the lead. Kaoru Mitoma struck a right-footed shot at goalkeeper Diant Ramaj, who parried the ball away loosely. Gambling at the far post was Joao Pedro, who tapped in to put the hosts 1-0 up.
Ansu Fati gave The Seagulls some breathing room after half-time, with Simon Adring lifting a beautiful chip over the Ajax defence to find the former Barcelona man in the middle of the box. Fati collected the ball with a superb touch, before hitting a low shot into the opposite corner of the goal.
Olympiacos end West Ham’s 17-match unbeaten run in Europe
It was a difficult day at the office for West Ham, whose 17-match unbeaten run in Europe was ended when they suffered a 2-1 defeat to Olympiacos in the Europa League.
David Moyes’ side got off to a poor start, with Konstantinos Fortounis gliding his way past James Ward-Prowse to fire a long-range individual effort past Alphonse Areola in the West Ham goal.
Having gone 17 games unbeaten in Europe, West Ham had left themselves a lot to do and while they fought to bring the scores back to level, The Irons found themselves 2-0 down before half-time when Rodinei netted for the Greek side.
At half-time, Joe Cole gave a scathing review of West Ham’s first 45 minutes, claiming that they needed to come out firing in the second half.
“They’ve dropped way below the standards that West Ham have set. Ogbonna, I think he’s suffering from not playing regularly,” he said to TNT Sports.
“You’re there to stop the cross and not be a mannequin. This group of players over the last few seasons have been on it in Europe.
“And they’ve been punished. We give them a bit of leeway because of what they’ve done before but when you drop below, you can only drop below for a little bit. And they’ve got to come out in the second half and be right on it.”
West Ham dug deep in the second half but it was largely the same story, with Moyes’ side affording Olympiacos too much time and space in midfield, with Sotiris Alexandropoulos finding himself in space on the edge of the penalty area before firing the ball just wide of the goal.
Lucas Paqueta would pull a goal back in the 87th minute and West Ham pressed deep into injury time to get an equaliser, but they would suffer their first defeat in the Europa League this season.
Bailey dazzles as Villa put four past Alkmaar
Unai Emery’s side extended their four-match unbeaten run with a 4-1 win against AZ Alkmaar in the Europa Conference League.
It was a brilliant performance from Aston Villa, who went a goal up early on, with Alkmaar giving the ball away inside their own half. The ball was played into the box and it flicked up to Leon Bailey on the edge of the penalty area and the ball appeared to touch his arm before he drilled a lovely half-volley past the goalkeeper.
But following a VAR review, the officials awarded the goal, with Bailey getting Villa off to a fine start with his third goal in Europe this season.
Peter Crouch lauded the midfielder’s strike at half-time, saying: “What a hit. It’s a difficult skill that to hit it on the half-volley when the ball is bouncing up like that, but he connects with it absolutely superbly.”
Villa extended their lead just 10 minutes later, with John McGinn recovering the ball in the Alkmaar half before playing a sensational pass to Youri Tielemans inside the box, and controlled the ball before placing it through the goalkeeper’s legs.
Alkmaar came close to getting one back, with Vangelis Pavlidis firing a shot over the bar, with Villa managing to go in at the break with a two-goal buffer.
Villa had momentum going into the break and continued to press in the second half. Bailey was back again after being played through on goal, evading several defenders before hitting a right-footed shot at Mathew Ryan, who parried down to Ollie Watkins, gambling at the far post who made it 3-0.
It was Watkins’ fifth goal in 10 games for both Villa and England, with the forward continuing his fine start to the season.
McGinn, who has also been in flying form for Villa and Scotland, soon found himself on the scoresheet, tapping in a cross from Bailey in the 55th minute.
Ibrahim Sadiq would beat the Aston Villa offside trap before taking a touch and hitting a wonderful strike across the face of Emiliano Martinez to pull one back.
But it was too little too late for the home side, with Villa holding out to seal a 4-1 victory to go top of Group E.
Heartache for Aberdeen after last-gasp penalty
Aberdeen suffered an agonising 3-2 defeat against PAOK at Pittodrie, giving away a two-goal lead before the Greek outfit scored a penalty in the dying embers of the match.
It was a bitter loss for Barry Robson’s side, who after a goalless first half, scored twice after the break and had looked like they were set to claim their first win in the Europa Conference League this season.
But after PAOK pulled two back late on, the hosts were left stunned after Slobodan Rubezic was deemed to have conceded a penalty in the 96th minute following a VAR review.
Stefan Schwab stepped up to take the spot-kick and placed the ball past goalkeeper Kelle Roos to seal PAOK’s third win of the campaign.
El Shaarawy dazzles as Roma reign supreme with Mourinho watching from the stands
Roma continued their excellent start to their Europa League campaign, defeating Slavia Prague 2-0 with Jose Mourinho watching from the stands.
After a brilliant performance, scoring to help Roma defeat Monza 1-0 at the weekend, Stephan El Shaarawy was back again to help his side take an early lead, teeing up Edoardo Bova who smashed the ball into the top-right corner after just a minute of play.
The Italian was back again to provide the creative spark, utilising some excellent vision to play Romelu Lukaku in on goal, and he fired the ball past Mile Svilar in net.
It was the Belgian’s eighth goal this season, having scored nine goals in Roma’s last 10 matches and sees them go three points clear at the top of Group G.
Rangers draw on the road
Rangers re-ignited their rivalry with Sparta Prague in the Europa League, playing out a 0-0 draw in Czech Republic.
The Gers were unable to beat Prague the last time they squared-off at the epet ARENA back in 2021 and were unable to find a winner despite hitting the bar late on.
For the lion’s share of the match, the game was a stalemate, with the home side largely outclassing the Scottish Premiership team with more possession and attempts on goal for the majority of the game.
Adam Karabec and Jan Kuchta had the two biggest opportunities of the match before half-time with Kutcha finding himself in space in front of goal, but wildly fired his shot over the bar.
And the second half continued much the same, with Danilo latching onto a pass inside the box before firing a bullet towards the goal, but crashed his shot against the bar in the 95th minute.
Marseille put three past 10-man AEK
Marseille claimed their first win of their Europa League campaign, a 3-1 victory against AEK Athens at home.
The French outfit got off to a great start, with Vitinha putting them a goal up after 27 minutes.
But they could not maintain that lead, with Petros Mantalos squaring the ball to Orbelin Pineda who fired the ball past goalkeeper Ruben Blanco into the bottom-left corner of the net to level the scores on 53 minutes.
Despite pulling themselves back into the game, the Greek outfit were dealt a big blow on the 57th minute after their goalkeeper Cican Stankovic pulled down Vitinha inside the box to concede a penalty and a red card.
Amine Harit made no mistake from the spot, dinking the ball into the right side of the goal to put Marseille 2-1 up before Jordan Veretout would seal the win with a second penalty in the 69th minute.
Lille made to work by Slovan Bratislava
The Ligue 1 outfit were looking to continue their unbeaten Europa Conference League campaign on Thursday at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy, but had to work hard to seal a 2-1 victory against Slovan Bratislava.
Despite having come into the match following a 1-0 victory against Brest in Ligue 1, it was a slow start from the French outfit, with their opponents having several early chances before Aleksandar Cavric arrived in the middle of the box to tap a cross from Lucas Lovat into the goal in the 23rd minute.
Yusuf Yazici would hit back for the home side in the 68th minute to bring the scores level, before Remy Cabella would halt their momentum, scoring in the 82nd minute, firing a ball into the right corner of the box after an excellent team move.
Bratislava were down to 10 men not long after, with Lovat being sent off in the 85th minute.
Lille now go top of Group A in the Europa Conference League, having now gone unbeaten so far in the tournament.
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