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Late drama in Europa League: West Ham and Marseille Triumph, Liverpool Stunned

West Ham United’s Lucas Paqueta emerged as the hero with a late goal, securing a 1-0 home win over Olympiakos Piraeus and maintaining their top spot in Europa League Group A. Despite a challenging performance, West Ham manager David Moyes reflected, “If I was being honest, I don’t think we made enough chances or opportunities, and I need to look to see why that was the case.”

Reflecting on Paqueta’s decisive left-foot volley in the 73rd minute, orchestrated by a brilliant James Ward-Prowse chip, Moyes said, “It was a crucial goal for us. We needed that breakthrough, and Lucas delivered when it mattered.” The goal was confirmed after a VAR review assessed a potential offside.

The home crowd nervously watched as Olympiakos almost equalised in the closing moments, with Mady Camara’s close-range header hitting the post. The win puts West Ham level on nine points with second-placed Freiburg, who secured a resounding 5-0 victory over Backa Topola. Olympiakos currently sits in third with four points.

In Group B, Olympique de Marseille maintained their stronghold with a 2-0 victory at AEK Athens, thanks to goals from Chancel Mbemba and Ismaila Sarr. Mbemba’s header from a corner opened the scoring after 25 minutes, while Sarr sealed the win with a stoppage-time strike. Marseille, with eight points, leads the group, narrowly ahead of Brighton & Hove Albion, who secured a 2-0 win at Ajax Amsterdam.


Meanwhile, Liverpool faced a shocking 3-2 defeat against Toulouse in Group E, despite still topping the standings with nine points. Manager Juergen Klopp expressed frustration with VAR decisions, stating, “We scored a third one, I think it was a goal 100%. It was pretty long ago the ball was in a tricky situation, I am not even sure it just the hand at all but that is how it is.”

Liverpool believed they had salvaged a draw when Jarell Quansah found the net in the seventh minute of stoppage time, but VAR disallowed it due to a handball by Alexis Mac Allister earlier in the move. Klopp’s post-match interview was interrupted by boisterous cheers from celebrating Toulouse supporters.

“We were as organized as this press conference – pretty chaotic,” Klopp remarked humorously. “Who had the idea to do the press conference here?”

In other Europa League action, Atalanta secured a 1-0 victory over Sturm Graz, maintaining their unbeaten record in Group D with 10 points, three ahead of Sporting, who beat 10-man Rakow Czestochowa 2-1. Rangers claimed a 2-1 win over Sparta Prague, and Real Betis hammered Aris Limassol 4-1. Betis leads Group C with nine points, followed by Rangers with seven.


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