Liverpool Stunned, Brighton Advances in Europa League
|Joe Gomez of Liverpool during the UEFA Europa League match between Toulouse FC and Liverpool FC at Stadium de Toulouse on November 09, 2023 in Toulouse, France.(Image-Getty)
Liverpool faced an unexpected setback with a 3-2 defeat against French side Toulouse in the Europa League Group E on Thursday. Despite the loss, Juergen Klopp's team retained their leading position in the group standings with nine points, two ahead of Toulouse, despite a last-minute VAR decision disallowing an equalizer. Toulouse's victory was marked by resilient defense and well-executed attacking maneuvers.
The match saw Liverpool's initial strong offensive efforts, including Joe Gomez's header hitting the crossbar. However, Toulouse seized the lead with Aron Donnum's deflected shot in the 36th minute, followed by Thjis Dallinga's goal in the 58th minute. Although Liverpool managed to pull one back with an own goal from Cristian Casseres and a late goal from Diogo Jota, their efforts were not enough to alter the outcome.
The emotional turmoil was palpable as Luis Diaz, whose father was released by kidnappers earlier that day, made a start for Liverpool but was substituted by Diogo Jota. The match culminated in a tense moment when Jarell Quansah's apparent equalizer in stoppage time was disallowed due to a handball by Alexis Mac Allister earlier in the move, leading to disappointment for the Liverpool side.
Meanwhile, Brighton & Hove Albion made significant strides towards the knockout stages with a convincing 2-0 victory over Ajax Amsterdam in Group B. Ansu Fati and Simon Adingra's goals secured Brighton's second win in the competition, propelling them to the top spot in the group with seven points, two ahead of Olympique de Marseille.
In Group G, AS Roma's unexpected 2-0 loss at the hands of Slavia Prague resulted in a second-place position, level on nine points with the Czech side, who claimed the top spot in the standings. Additionally, Bayer Leverkusen secured a last-minute 1-0 victory over Qarabag in Group H, maintaining their perfect start and securing a spot in the knockout stages.