Liverpool secure Champions League spot with thrilling win
The free-scoring English team will be one of five Premier League clubs to feature in Thursday's draw.
Liverpool secured a spot in the Champions League group stages on Wednesday after a three-goal burst saw them ease to a 6-3 aggregate win against German side Hoffenheim.
Leading 2-1 after the first leg, the English side shrugged off an early scare when Serge Gnabry’s goal for the visitors was ruled offside. They swiftly hit back with three goals in 11 first-half minutes, two by German Emre Can and a third by Mohamed Salah.
Mark Uth scored for the Bundesliga side before a pulsating first 30 minutes was completed, but any doubts over the eventual result were settled with a goal by Roberto Firmino, the outstanding performer on the night.
There was still time for Sandro Wagner’s consolation but the 4-2 second leg win at Liverpool’s Anfield stadium means that England will be represented by five teams in Thursday’s draw.
They will be joined by Qarabag, which became the first team from Azerbaijan to reach the group stage despite losing 2-1 away to FC Copenhagen. They qualified on away goals after a 2-2 aggregate draw.
Sporting scored four second-half goals to beat FCSB, formerly Steaua Bucharest, 5-1 away following a goalless draw in the first leg.
CSKA Moscow went through with a 2-0 win over Young Boys (3-0 on aggregate) and a goalless draw at Slavia Prague was enough for APOEL Nicosia to go through 2-0.
Updated: August 24, 2017 02:01 AM