Liverpool to face Sparta Paraha in UEFA Europa League last 16

February 23, 2024
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Liverpool will face Czech powerhouse Sparta Prague in the Europa League’s final 16, while Brighton & Hove Albion have been drawn against Roma.

Liverpool to face Sparta Paraha in UEFA Europa League last 16

Jurgen Klopp’s side won Group E over Toulouse, LASK Linz, and Union SG, advancing to the knockout rounds of Europe’s secondary league without having to play in the playoffs.

Sparta Prague, on the other hand, was forced to face one of the eight teams eliminated from the Champions League after finishing second in Group C behind Rangers, resulting in a knockout round playoff encounter with Galatasaray.

Sparta lost 3-2 in the first leg at Rams Park, but Brian Priske orchestrated a remarkable comeback in Thursday’s second leg, when the defending Czech champions thrashed their Turkish opponents 4-1 to secure a 6-4 aggregate victory.

In the last 20 minutes of play, AC Sparta Praha scored three of their four goals in the second leg. They will face the Reds as a reward; they previously met in the 2010-11 Europa League round of 32.

On that occasion, a Sir Kenny Dalglish-led Liverpool were held to a 0-0 draw in Prague before winning a tight second leg 1-0 at Anfield, where an 86th-minute Dirk Kuyt header took the Reds through to the last 16 before being eliminated by Braga.

Liverpool vs Sparta Praha | UEFA Europa League | The Quarter-Finals

Liverpool was one of three Premier League teams engaged in Friday’s Europa League final-16 draw, in which Group B winners Brighton & Hove Albion were granted a glamour encounter away to last season’s runners-up Roma, who defeated Feyenoord on penalties during the playoffs.

Meanwhile, West Ham United, the defending Europa Conference League champions, will face an instant rematch with Freiburg, whom they defeated 2-1 and 2-0 earlier this season to take first position in Group A.

Rangers, the fourth British team seeded for the last-16 draw, have been drawn with previous Champions League foes Benfica, who defeated Toulouse 2-1 on aggregate in the knockout round playoffs.

The two sides last met in the 2020-21 Europa League group stage, with Steven Gerrard’s side leaving the Estadio da Luz with a 3-3 tie before squandering a two-goal lead in a 2-2 draw at Ibrox three weeks later.

In other matches, Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen will face Azerbaijani trailblazers Qarabag FK. Qarabag beat Braga 6-5 over two legs in the playoffs, and Marseille will play Villareal.

After surviving a scare against Rennes in midweek, AC Milan will face Slavia Prague, while Serie A rivals Atalanta BC will face Sporting Lisbon.

The non-seeded teams will host the first leg of the last-16 ties on March 7, with the return fixtures taking place seven days later. However, due to a city clash with Benfica, Sporting and Atalanta’s first match will be played on Tuesday, March 5.

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