FOOTBALL – Liverpool eased into the Europa League round of 16 with a game to spare after an emphatic 4-0 home win over Austria’s LASK in Group E yesterday.
The Premier League side moved on to 12 points and will top the standings after second-placed Toulouse were held to a goalless draw at home by Union Saint Gilloise.
Luis Diaz put Liverpool ahead after 12 minutes with a header from Joe Gomez’s cross and Cody Gapko’s tap-in doubled the lead three minutes later. Mohamed Salah’s penalty made it 3-0 early in the second half and Gapko added his second in stoppage time to complete the rout.
Meanwhile, West Ham moved into the knockout round after a late Tomas Soucek goal saw off Backa Topola 1-0 in Serbia.
Soucek’s 89th-minute volley from Maxwel Cornet’s cross sealed the victory that put his team top of Group A. Second-placed Freiburg thrashed Olympiakos 5-0 to join West Ham in the knockout round.
There is a three-way battle for qualification from Group C after third-placed Sparta Prague beat leaders Real Betis 1-0, while second-placed Rangers drew 1-1 with Aris Limassol.
Atalanta wrapped up top spot in Group D after a 1-1 draw against second-placed Sporting Lisbon, who are also through to the knockout round.
Rennes’ 3-0 win against Maccabi Haifa took the French team to the top of Group F and into the knockout round, with Villarreal joining them after their 3-2 victory over Panathinaikos.
Slavia Prague’s 3-2 win at Sheriff sealed their knockout round place from Group G and Roma also advanced with a 1-1 draw at Servette.