Liverpool has secured a spot in the Europa League as group champions after easily defeating Lask.

Liverpool received a score of 10 and Jürgen Klopp had a successful night. His team secured first place in Group E and avoided the playoff round to advance to the last 16 of the Europa League, relieving any tension for their final group match against Union Saint-Gilloise. Caoimhín Kelleher kept a clean sheet, Mohamed Salah scored his 199th goal for Liverpool, there were no injuries, and Cody Gakpo scored two goals while playing as a forward once again, satisfying the Liverpool manager.

Liverpool’s superiority over their Europa League opponents has not been in doubt, an off-night in Toulouse notwithstanding, and was underlined throughout a comfortable defeat of Lask. A 10th successive victory at Anfield in all competitions this season represents the club’s best start to a home campaign since the double-winning season of 1985-86. Combined with Toulouse’s failure to beat Union SG in France, it secured Liverpool first place in the group with something to spare. Victory looked assured from the moment Luis Díaz headed home in the 12th minute.

Klopp acknowledged that our team achieved two favorable outcomes in tonight’s group match. However, the loss in Toulouse has made our path to victory more challenging. It is crucial for us to secure the top spot in the table due to our hectic schedule. There were many positives to take away from the game. However, I expressed my disappointment to the players during half-time that we should have sealed the win by then.

Liverpool quickly heeded Klopp’s advice to secure a spot in the next round at Anfield rather than risking it until the final group match in Belgium. Lask’s bold strategy was understandable as they needed a win to have a chance at advancing to the round of 16, but the difference in skill between the two teams was evident every time Liverpool attacked. Lask was consistently vulnerable and Liverpool seemed to have an easy time, often taking too long to make a move towards the goal when a more efficient approach was necessary. However, this did not cost them as they still emerged victorious.

Wataru Endo played a role in both of the first half goals, setting up the first one with a pass to Joe Gomez. Both Salah and his defender, Andres Andrade, failed to connect with the cross from full-back Díaz. However, Díaz himself was able to score with a diving header, catching Tobias Lawal off guard. Even the Colombia international seemed shocked by his own goal with his head.

Luis Díaz shows his delight after opening the scoring.

Liverpool swiftly increased their advantage as Endo spotted Salah in an abundance of open space. The temporary captain of Liverpool served a pass to Díaz, who was barely onside, but was unable to take the shot. However, Díaz regained control and passed to Salah on the side of the field. Salah, from Egypt, delivered a cross with his non-dominant left foot to Gakpo, who was unmarked and easily scored at the back post.

Lask posed a threat on the counterattack, especially with Moses Usor, but did not trouble Kelleher much until Klopp made substitutions in the second half. In contrast, Lawal was fortunate to enter halftime having only allowed two goals. Kostas Tsimikas hit the crossbar with a powerful shot after a poor defensive clearance, and Gakpo narrowly missed connecting with a cross from Salah across the goal.

Avoid the newsletter advertisement.

The Liverpool team’s slow and clumsy defense was highlighted by their third goal. Gakpo tried to pass the ball to a teammate who was behind Lask’s defensive line, but when he realized no one was there, he had enough time to chase after his own pass. Lawal quickly ran towards the ball to collect it, but instead ended up taking down an opponent and giving away a penalty. Salah easily scored the penalty kick, making it his 44th goal in European competitions for Liverpool. This also marked his 199th goal for the club in all competitions, but unfortunately, he will have to wait for his 200th goal. Klopp substituted Salah with Curtis Jones shortly after, as he began to focus on their upcoming Premier League match against Fulham on Sunday.

Gakpo hit the goal post as Liverpool had a good time creating chances, while Lawal made excellent saves to stop Harvey Elliott and substitute Darwin Núñez. Lask did have a chance to score late in the game, but solid plays from Kelleher and Tsimikas, along with some inaccurate shots, allowed the substitute goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet. Gakpo sealed the game in stoppage time with a well-placed shot after receiving a pass from substitute Trent Alexander-Arnold, securing a comfortable victory for the team.