Reds lost, West Ham and Brighton top European group

Team Climate Science
4 Min Read

For Liverpool’s youngest European team in its history, the Europa League was too much trouble in Brussels as Juergen Klopp’s experimental side lost 2-1 at Union Saint Gillois.

The only highlight of a testing evening for Klopp’s young guns was a first senior goal for ever-improving 20-year-old centre-back Jarell Quansah, their 14th separate goalscorer this season.

Quansah’s 40th-minute equalizer equaled a club-record 34th consecutive goal as Manchester United were on course for a new milestone on Sunday, with Mohamed Salah, Virgil Van Dijk and Alisson Becker all returning after staying out at home.

Liverpool’s first place was already certain despite the second defeat, but the victory put the Union in the play-offs of the European Conference League.

West Ham beat Germany’s Freiburg 2-0 to clinch Group A and progress directly to the round of 16.

Edson Alvarez took advantage of Freiburg’s high lines and in the 14th minute served a clinical pass over the top of the defense to Mohammed Kudus, who finished one-on-one with the goalkeeper.

West Ham had a goal disallowed in the 26th minute but Alvarez got on the scoresheet just before the break with his first goal for the English side to seal the win.

Joao Pedro scored an 88th-minute goal for Brighton against Marseille as the English club won 1-0 at the top of Group B, while Rangers qualified for the last 16 with a 3-2 win over Real Betis in Spain.

Roma beat Sheriff 3-0 but Jose Mourinho’s side finished second in Group G and will have to play the next round in February.

Romelu Lukaku scored his fifth goal of the tournament to put Roma ahead in the 11th minute at the Stadio Olimpico. Andrea Belotti doubled the lead in the 32nd minute and Niccolo Pisilli scored in second-half stoppage time.

After a 4-0 victory over Swiss club Servette, Slavia Prague secured first place with 15 points, two more than Roma. Mojmír Chytil scored two goals and David Doudera and Ivan Schranz added one each.

In a direct battle for first place in Group F, Villarreal took home a 3-2 victory over Rennes and progressed to the round of 16. Daniel Parejo became the winner in the 80th minute.

Bayer Leverkusen completed a perfect campaign by beating Molde 5-1 for their sixth win in six games.

Patrik Schick, who was in the starting lineup for the first time after recovering from a long-term injury, broke the deadlock in the sixth minute thanks to Robert Andrich’s assist.

Edmond Tapsoba added a second with a header in the 22nd minute, before Martin Ellingsen’s own goal gave Leverkusen a comfortable lead three minutes later.

The German side, who had already qualified directly for the round of 16, continued to press and Adam Hložek scored in the 60th and 70th.

Eric Kitolano pulled one back for Molde in the 75th.

In the Conference League, Nicola Zaniola’s first goal for Aston Villa helped them seal their place in the last 16 of the competition after a 1-1 draw against Zrinjski Mostar.

Zaniolo gave a much-changed Villa the lead in Bosnia and Herzegovina on the hour before Matija Malekinusic fired home a spectacular equalizer for the visitors in the closing stages.

The point was enough for Villa to finish top of Group E ahead of Legia Warsaw to avoid two play-off games and go straight to the knockout stages.

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