Liverpool, Marseille Triumph; Bayern, Villarreal Advance in Europa League
|Jarell Amorin Quansah of Liverpool and Moussa Kone of LASK during the Group E - UEFA Europa League 2023/24 match between Liverpool FC and LASK at Anfield on November 30, 2023 in Liverpool, England.(Image-Getty)
Liverpool secured a comfortable passage into the Europa League round of 16 with a convincing 4-0 victory over Austria's LASK in Group E. Luis Diaz opened the scoring with a header after 12 minutes, followed by Cody Gapko's tap-in three minutes later. Mohamed Salah extended the lead to 3-0 with a penalty early in the second half, and Gapko added his second in stoppage time to complete the comprehensive win. Liverpool's 12 points ensure they top the group as second-placed Toulouse drew 0-0 at home against Union Saint Gilloise.
In Group B, Olympique de Marseille secured a top-two finish with a thrilling 4-3 win over Ajax Amsterdam. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's hat-trick, completed in late stoppage time, propelled Marseille forward. Despite Ajax leveling three times, with Brian Brobbey scoring twice, their efforts were hampered by Steven Berghuis' second-half red card. Marseille's victory solidifies their place in the knockout stages.
Villarreal progressed in Group F with a 3-2 win over Panathinaikos, despite the Greek side's comeback from 3-0 down. Rangers drew 1-1 with Aris Limassol, keeping them 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 secured their place in the round of 16 as Group H winners with a 2-0 win over BK Hacken. Qarabag and Molde are vying for a playoff place as runners-up after their 2-2 draw.
In Group G, AS Roma, with a goal from Romelu Lukaku, drew 1-1 with Servette as Chris Bedia equalized for the Swiss side. Slavia Prague made significant progress towards claiming top spot in the group with a 3-2 win over Sheriff, courtesy of Muhamed Tijani's stoppage-time penalty. Both Roma and Slavia Prague are set to finish in the top two places, with Slavia holding a two-point advantage heading into the final group games.