Liverpool made a triumphant return to the Europa League, securing a come-from-behind 3-1 victory against Austrian club LASK in Linz. The match had its fair share of surprises.
In the 14th minute, Florian Flecker of LASK found the back of Liverpool’s net with a corner kick, delivering an unexpected lead against the six-time European champions. However, the illustrious visitors, who had made 11 changes to their starting lineup following a 3-1 comeback win over the Wolves, quickly leveled the playing field. Darwin Nunez converted a penalty 11 minutes into the second half after Philipp Ziereis fouled Luis Diaz.
Diaz himself showcased precision with a 63rd-minute finish into the roof of the net, giving Liverpool the lead after receiving a low cross from midfielder Ryan Gravenberch. The comeback was sealed when Mohamed Salah, who came off the bench, netted a goal in the 88th minute.
This victory marked Liverpool’s return to the second-tier European competition, following their last appearance in the 2016 final, where they lost 3-1 to Sevilla in Basel during Jurgen Klopp’s inaugural season at Anfield.
In other Europa League action, West Ham, a team from the Premier League, defeated Back Topola 3-1 in London thanks to an own goal from Nemanja Petrobic and goals from Mohammed Kudus and Tomas Soucek.
However, Brighton had a challenging Europa League debut, losing 3-2 to Greek champions AEK Athens. A late counter-attack goal by substitute Ezequiel Ponce sealed Brighton’s fate, despite Joao Pedro’s two equalizing penalties.
In other Europa League matchups, Roma’s Romelu Lukaku scored the winning goal in a 2-1 victory over Sheriff in Tiraspol, while Leverkusen dominated Sweden’s newcomers Hacken with a 4-0 win, featuring goals from Florian Wirtz, Aminde Adli, Victor Boniface, and substitute Jonas Hofmann.
Ajax played to a 3-3 draw with Marseille, Rangers secured a 1-0 victory against Real Betis, and Panathinaikos defeated Villarreal 2-0.
In the Europa Conference League, Legia Warsaw’s Ernest Mucid netted twice in the second half to lead his team to a 3-2 victory over Aston Villa. This marked Aston Villa’s return to the group stages of a European competition for the first time since the 2008-09 season.