Soccer-Liverpool crush LASK to reach last 16, Marseille advance


Soccer Football - Europa League - Group E - Liverpool v LASK Linz - Anfield, Liverpool, Britain - November 30, 2023 Liverpool's Wataru Endo in action with LASK Linz's Moses Usor REUTERS/Molly Darlington

LIVERPOOL, England (Reuters) -Liverpool eased into the Europa League round of 16 with a 4-0 home win over Austria's LASK in Group E and Olympique de Marseille secured a top-two finish in Group B after a thrilling 4-3 win over Ajax Amsterdam on Thursday.

Premier League Liverpool moved on to 12 points and will top the standings after second-placed Toulouse were held to a goalless draw at home by Union Saint Gilloise.

Luis Diaz put Liverpool ahead after 12 minutes with a header from Joe Gomez's cross and Cody Gapko's tap-in doubled the lead three minutes later.

Mohamed Salah's penalty made it 3-0 early in the second half and Gapko added his second in stoppage time to complete the rout.

Marseille advanced from the group stage with victory over 10-man Ajax thanks to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's hat-trick completed late in stoppage time.

Ajax had levelled three times, Brian Brobbey scoring twice, but they had Steven Berghuis sent off in the second half following a challenge on Joaquin Correa.

Villarreal also progressed to the knockout stages with a 3-2 win Panathinaikos in Group F after the Greek side fought back from 3-0 down.

Rangers drew 1-1 with Aris Limassol and the Scottish team remained in contention for a top-two spot in Group C with seven points, one ahead of Sparta Prague who beat leaders Real Betis 1-0.

Bayern Leverkusen confirmed their place in the round of 16 as Group H winners with a 2-0 win over BK Hacken. Qarabag and Molde are still looking to secure a playoff place as runners-up after their 2-2 draw.

Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku scored for AS Roma but they failed to secure victory over Servette as Chris Bedia equalised for the Swiss side in a 1-1 draw in Group G.

Slavia Prague made notable progress towards claiming top spot in the group with a 3-2 win over Sheriff thanks to Muhamed Tijani's stoppage-time penalty.

Roma and Slavia Prague will finish in the top two places in the group but Slavia have a two-point advantage heading into the final group games.

(Reporting by Janina Nuno Rios, Angelica Medina and Tommy Lund, editing by Ed Osmond)

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