Liverpool 6-1 Sparta Prague (Agg 11-2): Reds move into Europa League quarter-finals with resounding victory

Mohamed Salah
Mohamed Salah scored on his first start for Liverpool since 1 January

Defender Conor Bradley says Liverpool want to “win every trophy” possible for departing boss Jurgen Klopp after they thrashed Sparta Prague to reach the Europa League quarter-finals.

Already 5-1 ahead after a dominant first-leg showing in the Czech Republic, Darwin Nunez’s opener was the first of four goals in seven first-half minutes as the Reds overwhelmed their opponents.

And by full-time the hosts had run up their biggest aggregate win in a European competition for over four decades as they equalled the 11-2 success over Finnish side Oulun Palloseura in the first round of the European Cup in 1980-81.

“He’s [Klopp] been the only manager I’ve known at this club, so for him to be leaving is sad,” the Northern Ireland full-back told TNT Sports.

“We just want to win every trophy we can for him and give him the best send-off we can.”

Liverpool are also second in the Premier League and face Manchester United in the last eight of the FA Cup on Sunday as they look to add more silverware following their Carabao Cup triumph in February.

Blistering start underpins emphatic win

Dominik Szoboszlai’s precise cut-back allowed Uruguay forward Nunez to start the rout, as he registered his ninth goal in 11 games, by guiding a low effort into the bottom right corner.

And some shambolic attempts to play out from the back by the visitors only served to provide further momentum to Liverpool’s blistering start.

Teenager Bobby Clark, the son of former Newcastle midfielder Lee, was the first beneficiary, capping a fine first European start with his first senior goal just 68 seconds later, as he rolled the ball past visiting goalkeeper Peter Vindahl.

Mohamed Salah also capitalised to stroke in a third for Klopp’s side to bring up his 20th goal of the season and in the process become the first player in the club’s history to reach that mark in seven successive campaigns.

“Mo is just delivering and delivering and delivering, his desire doesn’t stop, his quality is there and his desire to score doesn’t stop,” Klopp said.

“He has improved in so many aspects since he started here. That’s how it is, he will not stop. In seven years together with him, the one problem we never had was consistency.”

Egypt international Salah turned provider with a near-post cross for Cody Gakpo for Liverpool’s fourth and while Sparta did briefly stem the tide, with Veljko Birmancevic outpacing Wataru Endo to steer the ball past home goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher, the joyous celebrations in the away section were quickly cut short.

An otherwise dismal evening for the Czech champions continued after the break.

Szoboszlai’s deflected strike put the home side into double figures across the two legs and Gakpo’s improvised flick from substitute Harvey Elliott’s curling shot rounded off a comprehensive win for Liverpool.

Player of the match

van DijkVirgil van Dijk

Sparta Prague

  1. Squad number26Player nameVydra

  2. Squad number27Player namePanák

  3. Squad number14Player nameBirmancevic

  4. Squad number2Player namePreciado

  5. Squad number18Player nameSadílek

  6. Squad number11Player nameTuci

  7. Squad number1Player nameVindahl

  8. Squad number22Player nameHaraslín

  9. Squad number9Player nameKuchta

  10. Squad number20Player nameLaçi

  11. Squad number41Player nameVitík

  12. Squad number4Player nameSolbakken

  13. Squad number6Player nameKairinen

  14. Squad number30Player nameZeleny

  15. Squad number32Player nameRynes

  16. Squad number37Player nameKrejcí

Line-ups

Liverpool

Formation 4-3-3

  • 62Kelleher
  • 84Bradley
  • 78QuansahBooked at 65minsSubstituted forvan Dijkat 66′minutes
  • 2GomezSubstituted forTsimikasat 45′minutes
  • 26Robertson
  • 8Szoboszlai
  • 3EndoSubstituted forMcConnellat 45′minutes
  • 42ClarkSubstituted forMusialowskiat 73′minutes
  • 11Salah
  • 9NúñezSubstituted forElliottat 45′minutes
  • 18Gakpo

Substitutes

  • 4van Dijk
  • 7Díaz
  • 10Mac Allister
  • 13Adrián
  • 19Elliott
  • 21Tsimikas
  • 49Gordon
  • 53McConnell
  • 67Koumas
  • 76Danns
  • 92Musialowski
  • 93Mrozek

Sparta Prague

Formation 5-3-2

  • 1Vindahl
  • 2Preciado
  • 41Vitík
  • 30Zeleny
  • 37Krejcí
  • 32RynesSubstituted forPanákat 45′minutes
  • 4SolbakkenSubstituted forVydraat 74′minutes
  • 6Kairinen
  • 20LaçiSubstituted forSadílekat 58′minutes
  • 14BirmancevicSubstituted forTuciat 66′minutes
  • 9KuchtaSubstituted forHaraslínat 58′minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Olatunji
  • 10Karabec
  • 11Tuci
  • 18Sadílek
  • 19Mejdr
  • 22Haraslín
  • 24Vorel
  • 26Vydra
  • 27Panák
  • 28Wiesner
  • 29Sevcík
  • 44Surovcík

Referee:
Artur Manuel Soares Dias

Attendance:
59,581

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