Liverpool triumphs 5-1 over Sparta Prague before facing Man City in the Europa League

By Majesty 4 Min Read
Liverpool won their Europa League last-16

Liverpool won their Europa League last-16 match against Sparta Prague, and they will be riding high heading into their pivotal Premier League matchup with Manchester City on Sunday.

In the first leg, on a wild evening in the capital of the Czech Republic, the Reds showed their ruthlessness by shutting out the home crowd with three goals before halftime.

Alexis Mac Allister’s penalty kick in the sixth minute gave them the lead after Asger Sorensen had fouled the Argentina World Cup winner.

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Liverpool triumphs 5-1 over Sparta Prague before facing Man City in the Europa League

Darwin Nunez’s stunning dipping finish from outside the penalty area increased the advantage, marking Liverpool’s 1,000th goal under manager Jurgen Klopp. However, the Uruguayan forward’s powerful effort from the edge of the box for his 16th club goal of the year made it a three goal lead 3-0 in first-half added time.

Liverpool was grateful for Caoimhin Kelleher, who again demonstrated his value to the squad in the absence of injured first-choice keeper Alisson, despite the comfortable margin.

A series of significant stops were made by Kelleher, one of which came at the 1-0 mark when he deflected Lukas Haraslin’s attempt, causing it to spiral towards the net before Joe Gomez hooked it off the line.

Conor Bradley, a Reds substitute, scored an own goal with his first touch in the 46th minute while attempting to clear the ball for Sparta Prague. However, seven minutes later, Luis Diaz restored his team’s three-goal lead with a deflected finish.

Dominik Szoboszlai, a substitute, scored the fifth goal almost at the very end.

When the clubs play their second leg at Anfield on March 14 (20:00 GMT), Liverpool, who saw Mohamed Salah return from a hamstring injury as a 74th-minute replacement and had a goal disallowed for offside, will be confident of making it to the quarterfinals.

Prior to that, Klopp’s team plays a first-versus-second match at Anfield against the reigning champions, Manchester City.

Whether Ibrahima Konate, who has been playing well lately, will play is still up in the air. Gomez did not appear for the second half, and the France defender was substituted shortly after sustaining an injury during the second half.

Liverpool triumphs 5-1 over Sparta Prague before facing Man City in the Europa League
Salah’s return

Salah’s return to the pitch was also a pleasant sight. Five minutes after entering the game, he put the ball in the net with a curling finish, but it was disallowed for a close offside.

Bradley replaced Gomez at the half, which raised questions, but Konate’s decision to leave the game so quickly after getting hurt will also raise concerns.

It’s unclear if Klopp was exercising caution with both players ahead of this weekend’s highly important domestic match.

After being overextended by injuries, Liverpool had to rely on their younger players; nevertheless, no adolescent was included in the starting lineup as the club’s injury woes appear to be behind them.

The visitors scored in an open game, hitting five of their eleven shots on goal.

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