The Roar
The Roar


Liverpool get Salah boost ahead of City blockbuster as Nunez stars in Europa League romp

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7th March, 2024

Darwin Nunez has scored the 1,000th goal of Juergen Klopp’s reign in Liverpool’s comfortable 5-1 Europa League win over Sparta Prague, but it wasn’t quite the perfect warm-up for Sunday’s title clash with Manchester City after another potential injury blow.

The landmark goal in the last-16 first-leg tie came in the 25th minute.

Liverpool had been under a sustained spell of pressure after Alexis Mac Allister had put them ahead from the spot. But Nunez, relieved of his penalty-taking duties, cut in from the left to whip a brilliant 25-yard dipping shot over goalkeeper Peter Vindahl. 

Nunez struck again on the stroke of half-time before Luis Diaz scored the fourth. Klopp even had the luxury of giving much-needed minutes to Dominik Szoboszlai, who scored a late fifth, and Mo Salah on his return to tune them up for the weekend, but the loss of centre-back Ibrahima Konate to injury is another unwanted headache – although Klopp described his removal from the game as precautionary.

Watch every match of the UEFA Europa League exclusive & ad-free, live & on demand on Stan Sport.

In Azerbaijan, Patrik Schick scored in stoppage time as Bayer Leverkusen came from two goals down to draw 2-2 aqainst Qarabag and stretch their unbeaten run throughout the season to 35 matches.


Yassine Benzia opened the scoring and Juninho added a second on the stroke of half-time.

Xabi Alonso’s Bundesliga leaders regrouped when originally rested stars Florian Wirtz and Granit Xhaka came on.

Wirtz chipped Leverkusen back into the game in the 70th minute after intercepting a terrible back pass, and Schick nodded the equaliser in time added on.

Brighton & Hove Albion were crushed 4-0 at last year’s finalists Roma. First-half goals by Paulo Dybala and Romelu Lukaku put the visitors on the ropes.

Worse was to follow after the break with Gianluca Mancini and Bryan Cristante able to score in quick succession to essentially kill the tie. 

Sporting Lisbon and Atalanta drew 1-1 on Wednesday while the other four first-leg games are later Thursday.