Liverpool suffered their first defeat of the season in the Europa League when they visited Toulouse. Partly thanks to a goal by Thijs Dallinga, the French team surprisingly won 3-2 against the leader in group E.
Liverpool found themselves trailing 3-1 deep into the second half and seemed to be coming back to 3-3, but after watching the images the equalizer was disallowed in injury time due to handball.
Two weeks ago, Liverpool was 5-1 too strong for the number 14 of the French league at Anfield. With a victory in Toulouse, Liverpool would have already been assured of wintering in the Europa League.
No Van Dijk and Gravenberch
Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp did not send his strongest starting eleven into the field in the south of France. Virgil van Dijk (ill) and Ryan Gravenberch (slight knee injury) were not on the scoresheet. Cody Gakpo was the only Dutchman in the starting line-up at Liverpool.
Luis Díaz also started the game, after receiving good news about his father before the match. He had been kidnapped in Colombia since October 28 by a guerrilla movement, but has now been released.
After more than half an hour of play, Toulouse took the lead after Aron Donnum punished Konstantinos Tsimikas’ sloppy ball loss.
In the second half Dallinga made it 2-0. The 23-year-old Dutch striker took the ball well in the penalty area and shot in from the turn via the inside of the post. Two weeks ago, the former Excelsior player also scored against Liverpool at Anfield.
Liverpool made it 2-1 via an unfortunate own goal, but soon afterwards Toulouse seemed to deliver the final blow with a goal from Frank Magri. Two minutes before the end, Liverpool made it 3-2 through Diogo Jota, who had replaced Díaz moments earlier. Deep into injury time, the visitors even seemed to pull out a draw, but VAR intervened because Alexis Mac Allister had gotten the ball in his hand.
Thanks to the victory, Toulouse climbed to second place in Group E, behind Liverpool.
In group G, Slavia Prague caused a surprise by beating AS Roma, last year’s Europa League finalist, 2-0. Romelu Lukaku failed to score in a Europa League match for the first time in nine years. The Belgian has always been accurate in the past 14 matches.
The team from Prague is at the top of the group thanks to the victory, but both teams have 9 points after four matches.
Frimpong with Leverkusen through
Jeremie Frimpong has reached the knockout stages of the Europa League with Bayer Leverkusen. The Dutch international, who made his debut against France in October, saw teammate Victor Boniface score the winning goal in injury time against Qarabag FK: 0-1.
With the late victory in Azerbaijan, Leverkusen achieved its fourth victory in a row in group H. Frimpong came on after more than an hour to Leverkusen, currently also the leader in Germany.
Maccabi Haifa loses, Tel Aviv wins
Israeli Maccabi Haifa lost the previously postponed match with Villarreal from the Europa League 2-1. The group stage match was canceled last month due to the war situation in Israel and was now played in Larnaca, Cyprus.
Just before the end, former Groningen player Alexander Sørloth scored the winning goal for Villarreal. Maccabi Haifa was missing Surinamese-Dutch attacker Tjaronn Chery, who has been maintaining his fitness in the Netherlands since the outbreak of the war.
Later in the evening, Maccabi Tel Aviv won the catch-up game in the Conference League against the Ukrainian Zorya Luhansk in Poland. Former PSV player Derrick Luckassen opened the score, after which Maccabi made it 3-1 thanks to two goals from Israeli Dor Peretz.
Both matches of the Israeli clubs reflected on the war situation with a minute’s silence before the match.
The post first appeared on nos.nl