UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE Salah on target as clinical Liverpool put six past Sparta to reach quarters

Liverpool booked their place in the Europa League quarter-finals after an emphatic 6-1 victory over Sparta Prague at Anfield on Thursday.

Leading 5-1 from last week’s last-16 first leg in Czechia, the Reds scored four goals in the opening 14 minutes of the return meeting, via Darwin Nunez, Bobby Clark, Mohamed Salah and Cody Gakpo.

Sparta pulled a goal back before half-time, but Dominik Szoboszlai grabbed a fifth for Jürgen Klopp’s side shortly after the interval, and Gakpo flicked Harvey Elliott’s shot home for his second of the night to make it 6-1, and complete an 11-2 aggregate victory.

The Reds will discover their last-eight opponents when the draw is made in Switzerland on Friday. Klopp made four changes from the side that had started last Sunday’s Premier League draw with Manchester City.

In came Andy Robertson, Clark and Gakpo, with Salah making his first Reds start since January 1. Virgil van Dijk, Elliott, Alexis Mac Allister and Luis Diaz all dropped to the bench. Liverpool started the game at a furious pace and their pressing was too much for Sparta to handle as the Reds raced into a 4-0 lead inside the opening 14 minutes.

Nunez set the ball rolling, sweeping home a confident first-time finish from Szoboszlai’s low cross in the seventh minute. Just over 60 seconds later, it was two, as Salah won possession deep in the Sparta half, allowing Clark to slide his first senior goal under the diving Peter Vindahl.

Dennis Mabuka

Dennis Mabuka is a seasoned Kenyan journalist with 18 years of experience covering sports events. He is currently a sport content creator with en.Africatopsports.com.

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