Europa League: Liverpool stumble at Toulouse, West Ham, Marseille win


Liverpool lost 3-2 to Toulouse in the Europa League on Thursday, while West Ham ensured they have European football in 2024 and Leverkusen progress.

The stunning upset in France came courtesy of goals from Aron Donnum, Thijs Dallinga, and Frank Magri as Liverpool sank to their first defeat in the Europa League this campaign.

However, the game was not without controversy with VAR intervening to rule out an equaliser deep in injury-time from Jarell Quansah.

With 36 minutes gone, Donnum pounced on Kostas Tsimikas and robbed him of possession before slotting home via a deflection to give Toulouse the lead at the break.

The buoyant hosts got a second when Dallinga took a touch in the box and drilled past Caoimhin Kelleher on 58 minutes.

An own goal from Cristian Casseres in the 73rd minute gave Liverpool a lifeline but the hosts, pushed on by a vibrant home crowd, punched back immediately.

Three minutes later, Kelleher could not hold a firmly hit cross and Magri was on hand to restore Toulouse’s two-goal buffer.

Diogo Jota, on for Diaz, struck a second for Liverpool in the 89th minute.

The hosts were able to see the game out to claim a precious three points, but not before an equaliser seven minutes into injury-time by Quansah was ruled out after video review for an adjudged handball much earlier in the build-up.

Toulouse now sit on seven points, two behind Liverpool and three ahead of third-placed St Gilloise in Group E.

Last year’s Europa Conference League winners, West Ham, ground down Olympiakos with a Lucas Paqueta goal in the 73rd minute being the difference between the two sides.

The win moves them top of Group A and with nine points they are assured of either Europa League or Europa Conference League football in the new year.

Villarreal beat Maccabi Haifa 2-0 in Larnaca, Cyprus with the fixture moved due to the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Rennes ran out 3-1 winners against Greece’s Panathinaikos, while fellow French side Marseille went top of Group B with a 2-0 win at AEK Athens.

In Group B, Brighton took a big step towards booking their place in the knock-out stage with a comfortable 2-0 win away to Ajax.

Goals either side of the break from Ansu Fati and Simon Adingra gave the Seagulls a famous win on the home turf of European royalty.

The Premier League team now have seven points and sit three clear of AEK Athens in third place.

Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen wrapped up qualification for the knock-out stage with a 1-0 win in Baku against Group H rivals Qarabag.

A Victor Boniface penalty in the fourth minute of second-half injury-time was enough to give Xabi Alonso’s side a fourth win in four.

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