Reds eased to 16-1 to claim Europa glory

LIVERPOOL missed the opportunity to take a firm grip on Group A in the Europa League yesterday as they slipped to a 1-0 defeat at Russian moneybags outfit Anzhi Makhachkala.

A goal from towering striker Lacina Traore right on half-time was enough for the home side to claim three points and they leapfrogged Brendan Rodgers’ side to go top of the section.

Liverpool were the subject of a surprising gamble before kick off that saw Anzhi pushed out to 10-11, but they never looked likely to claim their third success of the competition.

The Reds were eased to 16-1 with Ladbrokes to claim the Europa crown after being 14-1 before the match, while the firm were impressed by the Russians’ efforts and cut them to 12-1 from 14-1.

Newcastle were unable to guarantee their place in the last 32, but it could have been a lot worse for Alan Pardew’s side as they clawed their way back from a two-goal deficit at Bruges to claim a 2-2 draw.
Goals from Vurnon Anita and Shola Ameobi in two minutes just before half-time kept them on top of Group D but they were unable to claim the win that would have seen them through.

They entertain Maritimo in two weeks before travelling to Bordeaux a fortnight later.

Bordeaux put themselves in an excellent position to qualify as they claimed a 1-0 victory over the Portuguese outfit to go one point behind the Magpies.

Tottenham went into their clash with Maribor having drawn all three of their matches, but they claimed a 3-1 success with all the goals coming from England striker Jermain Defoe.

Spurs are 16-1 to claim the trophy and now stand two points ahead of the Slovenian team in second place in Group J.

Lazio are two points clear at the top after a 3-0 win over Panathinaikos and Spurs head to Rome for their next match in two weeks.

Elsewhere, there was a shock in Portugal where holders Atletico Madrid fell to a  2-0 defeat at Academica Coimbra.

RPSPORT’s Dan Childs tipped a 9-2 winner as AIK Solna beat PSV 1-0.

Ladbrokes – Europa League: 7 Atletico Madrid, 11 Inter, 12 Anzhi, 16 Tottenham, Liverpool, Lyon, Lazio, 20 Bayer Leverkusen, Newcastle, 22 Rubin Kazan, 25 Metalist, Napoli, 28 Hannover, 33 Dnipro, Fenerbahce, Bordeaux, 40 bar.

Match in Focus

19:45 TODAY BT2

Real Madrid v Liverpool

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • Real have won just one of their last four Champions League meetings against English opposition
Expert verdict
Real Madrid have lifted the Champions League in three of the past four seasons but they could struggle to retain their crown against a lively Liverpool. Real have been the dominant force in Europe, with last year’s 4-1 thumping of Juventus in the final in Cardiff showcasing their superiority. However, Zinedine Zidane’s men have not bumped into a front three like the Reds’ often - Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane have netted 29 of their 40 Champions League goals this season - and they are vulnerable to the counter-attack.



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