Liverpool thrash Sparta Prague to take control of tie

Liverpool thrash Sparta Prague to take control of tie

Liverpool scored their 1000th goal under Jurgen Klopp as the Reds produced a five-star display to thrash Sparta Prague in the Europa League tonight.

  • Jurgen Klopp names a strong Starting XI with Nunez, Endo, and Diaz all starting
  • Liverpool awarded a penalty in the 5th minute after Mac Allister tripped in the box
  • Mac Allister calmly scores from the spot after VAR check
  • Kelleher makes a string of fine saves in the opening 20 minutes
  • Nunez scores stunning long-range shot from 25-yards after 25 minutes
  • Nunez's strike is the 1000th goal Liverpool have scored under Klopp
  • Nunez scores a second stunning strike on 47 minutes - volleying in from the edge of the area
  • HALF-TIME - Sparta Prague 0 - 3 Liverpool
  • Bradley replaces Gomez at half-time, then scores an own goal after 51 seconds
  • Konate goes off with a possible hamstring injury after 50 minutes
  • Luis Diaz scores after 53 minutes following good work from Bradley and Elliott
  • Mo Salah makes his long-awaited return from injury, replacing Luis Diaz
  • Salah has goal ruled out for offside on 84 minutes
  • Szoboszlai scores an excellent individual goal in injury time
  • FULL-TIME - Sparta Prague 1 - 5 Liverpool

Liverpool made the perfect start to their match against Sparta Prague, with Alexis Mac Allister earning and scoring a penalty in the 5th minute. The Argentine midfielder reacted quickest to a loose ball on the edge of the Sparta box, nicking it past the defender, who then clipped his heels as he ran into the box.  After a VAR check, Mac Allister calmly stepped up to send the keeper the wrong way to give Liverpool the lead.

Despite the setback, Sparta Prague reacted well, and created two excellent chances in quick succession, with Kelleher making another outstanding save to deny Lukas Haraslin, with Gomez hooking the ball off the line.  As the clock ticked towards 20 minutes, Prague was beginning to build momentum, creating several more good chances with Kelleher having to make numerous saves.

Then, on 25 minutes, Darwin Nunez produced a piece of individual brilliance, shifting the ball onto his right foot and scoring a stunning long-range effort from 25 yards.  Question marks will be raised over the Prague keeper - and whether he should have done better - but take nothing away from Nunez's strike.

Despite being two down, Sparta still created plenty of chances, and Kelleher had to make another excellent save on 37 minutes.  Even so, the ball still broke to Birmancevic, who somehow stumbled over the ball and knocked it wide, with the goal wide open.  Then, as the game seemed to be ticking down to half-time, Nunez scored a second with a stunning volley from the edge of the area, as the Sparta players failed to react.  The goal sent Liverpool into half-time with a 3 - 0 lead.

The second half started crazily, with Conor Bradley (who replaced Gomez at half-time) scoring an own goal after just 51 seconds before Ibrahima Konate went off with a possible hamstring injury on 50 minutes.  Jurgen Klopp could hardly bear to watch, but Luis Diaz calmed the nerves with Liverpool's fourth goal on 53 minutes.   As the second half wore on, both teams continued to create chances, and both were guilty of poor defending.  Then after 75 minutes, Liverpool fans had the welcome sight of Mohamad Salah returning to action, as he replaced Luis Diaz.  They were soon celebrating again when Salah had the ball in the net for Liverpool's fifth, only for the effort to be ruled out for a debatable offside.

It looked like being the last meaningful action of the match, but there was still time for Dominik Szoboszlai to score a fine individual goal, to give Liverpool a commanding four-goal lead to take back to Anfield next week.

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Sparta Prague vs Liverpool match stats

Possession
Sparta Prague - 37% - 63% Liverpool

Total Shots
Sparta Prague 11 - 20 Liverpool

Shots on Target
Sparta Prague 7 - 11 Liverpool

Corners
Sparta Prague 5 - 3 Liverpool

Fouls
Sparta Prague 12 - 9 Liverpool

Man of the Match

Alexis Mac Allister - 9/10 - Another excellent performance from our midfield dynamo.

What's Next

Liverpool have the small matter of Manchester City at Anfield on Sunday, in what could be a decisive game in the title race.  Kick-off is 16.30 GMT

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... About The Author ...

Peter Farrell :: LFC - Back On Our Perch Author and Editor

Peter Farrell - Editor and Chief Article Writer, LFC - Back On Our Perch
Articles written by Author :: 500

Lifelong fan with a passion for all things Liverpool. First memory of football is watching John Barnes score a dramatic last minute equaliser in the FA Cup when he was 4. Feels lucky to be a part of the 'Klopp' era.

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