November 10 – Thursday night saw a host of upsets and deciding moments as the UEFA Europa League Group Stage enters its final chapters.
A heavily rotated Liverpool side surrendered their European winning streak to Toulouse in a thrilling 3-2 affair. The Reds looked poised to make a last-gasp snatch for a point as the ball hit the back of the net courtesy of Liverpool youngster Jarell Quansah, but was controversially ruled out for a hand ball against Alexis Mac Allister in the buildup. Despite the unexpected defeat, Liverpool remain top of Group E, as Toulouse break into the qualifying spots after picking up all three points.
Bayer Leverkusen continue their impressive unbeaten streak in all competitions, which has stretched to 17 games since the start of the competitive season.
Xabi Alonso’s side has nestled in amongst the best sides in Europe, sitting on maximum points in Europa League Group H whilst also topping the Bundesliga – two points clear of a Harry Kane-fuelled Bayern Munich.
Brighton earned a crucial three points after an emphatic win away at Ajax thanks to goals from Ansu Fati and Simon Adingra. The Seagull’s Premier League form has been patchy in recent weeks, but a win against Ajax has given the side something to smile about, boosting their chances of qualifying for the round of 16.
The loss has added to Ajax’s woes, with the four-time European champions still winless in UEFA competitions this season. That being said, the club has won two consecutive league games for the first time this season in recent weeks, as the 36-time league champions were finally hoisted out of the relegation zone.
Overall group standings / shifts
West Ham’s 1-0 win over Olympiacos win sees the Hammers remain top of Group A, whilst Marseille remains top of Group B thanks to a win against AEK Athens, with Brighton in hot pursuit.
Similarly, Real Betis remain top of Group C, just two points ahead of Rangers despite the Glasgow club’s 2-1 win over Sparta Prague.
Atalanta are on the verge of automatic qualification from Group D with 10 points from four games, as second-placed Sporting earn a win against 10-man Rakow Czestochowa that puts the club in good stead to qualify.
Liverpool remain top of Group E despite an unexpected loss to Toulouse, who themselves have entered second place.
Similarly, Rennes top group F on nine points after beating Panathinaikos with ten men.
AS Roma and Slavia Praha are joint at the summit of Group G and are both on the verge of qualifying to the next round.
Bayer Leverkusen is the only team to generate a maximum of 12 points but are yet to automatically qualify as the Bundesliga front runners sit just six points clear of Qarabag and Molde, who have already played each other twice, with two games to play.
The next round of Europa League action begins on November 30.
Contact the writer of this story, Harry Ewing, at firstname.lastname@example.org