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'That makes no sense': Klopp flummoxed by Europa League surrender, Brighton wipe the floor with Ajax

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9th November, 2023
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Liverpool’s comeback has fallen short in a 3-2 loss at Toulouse in the Europa League, but it was still a victorious day for striker Luis Díaz.

Díaz’s father was released hours before the match, 12 days after his kidnapping in northern Colombia by members of the guerrilla group National Liberation Army.

Diaz had appealed for his father’s release after scoring Sunday in a Premier League match, revealing a T-shirt saying “Freedom for Papa” in Spanish.

On Thursday, Díaz didn’t score but still tested Toulouse goalkeeper Guillaume Restes with a low right-footed shot from outside the area in the first half.

Aron Dønnum scored in the first half and Thijs Dallinga doubled the advantage just before the hour mark for the hosts, who lost 5-1 at Anfield two weeks ago.

An own goal from Cristian Cásseres made it 2-1 in the 74th minute but Frank Magri quickly restored the two-goal lead.

Diogo Jota came on for Diaz in the 81st minute and scored eight minutes later. Liverpool thought they had equalised in stoppage time but Jarell Quansah’s goal was disallowed by VAR.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp felt the goal should have stood, but acknowledged his team’s defending is letting them down.

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 “We were not aggressive enough. We gave balls easily away. Real mistakes. With all the possession you have obviously you should create more but you cannot concede three goals here, that makes no sense. They fought harder and it was deserved. Congratulations to Toulouse,” Klopp said.

“You can play as good as you want but if you don’t win decisive battles you have no chance in football.

“We scored a third one, I think it was a goal 100%. It was pretty long ago the ball was in a tricky situation, I am not even sure it just the hand at all but that is how it is.

“We don’t have a point, but at least we can learn from it. The boys have to decide how we want to play. We can be a very good football team, but without winning defensive challenges, nope.”

The game was Klopp’s 450th as manager for Liverpool.

Liverpool lead Group E with nine points from four games. Toulouse trails by two in second.

At the Amsterdam Arena, Brighton took control of their Europa League destiny with a commanding 2-0 win against Ajax to complete back-to-back victories over the Dutch giants.

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A goal in each half from Ansu Fati and Simon Adingra meant Roberto De Zerbi’s side moved into the qualification spots in Group B for the first time on their debut European campaign.

It was a performance that matched the ease with which they dispatched the four-time European champions at home two weeks earlier.

Since then, Ajax had appointed a new manager in John van’t Schip, but despite an uptick in domestic form they never looked like they had the firepower to unduly trouble Brighton, who could have won by a greater margin had Joao Pedro, Adingra and Fati not wasted good chances.

Meanwhile West Ham scored the only goal of the game via Lucas Paqueta to beat Olympiacos.

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