33.2 C
Manila
Sunday, March 29, 2020
Home Sports Football Times Liverpool, Chelsea through as Ajax goes out

Liverpool, Chelsea through as Ajax goes out

PARIS: Titleholder Liverpool safely negotiated Tuesday’s (Wednesday in Manila) trip to Salzburg to take their place in the last 16 of this season’s UEFA Champions League while Chelsea are also through, but Ajax suffered a shock group-stage exit.

Six clubs secured spots in the draw for the first knockout round in their final group games, with Ajax and Inter Milan the big names to miss out.

Jurgen Klopp’s side just needed to draw in Austria to keep alive their bid to retain the European Cup, and they duly beat Salzburg 2-0 thanks to two goals in two second-half minutes, by Naby Keita and Mohamed Salah.


Salzburg’s Norwegian forward Erling Haaland and Liverpool’s Croatian defender Dejan Lovren (right) vie for the ball during the UEFA Champions League Group E football match in Salzburg, Austria. AFP PHOTO

Keita headed in Sadio Mane’s cross against his former club to put Liverpool ahead in the 57th minute, and Salah then rounded goalkeeper Cican Stankovic to score from an improbably tight angle.

The result allowed Liverpool to progress as Group E winners, with Napoli going through in second place, while Salzburg are out and drop into the Europa League instead.

“What a team,” Klopp told BT Sport. “What an effort. It was a tough game.”

“We scored two wonderful goals. We could have scored six or seven, which is crazy. We won the group, we won the game, all good.”

Napoli made sure of their progress by trouncing Genk 4-0 in Italy with Arkadisuz Milik scoring a first-half hat trick, the third goal coming from the penalty spot.

Dries Mertens converted another spot-kick in the second half to seal the win, but the Italian side still sacked coach Carlo Ancelotti in the wake of the game.

There was high drama in Group H as Valencia beat Ajax 1-0 in Amsterdam, Rodrigo Moreno’s strike taking the Spaniards through to the last 16 at the expense of last season’s semi-finalists, and leaving their hosts stunned.

Ajax had again been impressive this season but were left to rue their inability to win either of their two matches against Chelsea, as Frank Lampard’s team progressed in second place, a point ahead of the Dutch giants, thanks to a 2-1 victory against Lille.

Tammy Abraham and Cesar Azpilicueta netted first-half goals for Chelsea, who held on after Loic Remy pulled one back for Lille.

Chelsea, the 2012 Champions League winners, finish level on points with Valencia but come second due to their inferior head-to-head record.

Ajax drop into the Europa League along with Inter, as Antonio Conte’s team contrived to lose 2-1 at home to a makeshift Barcelona.

AFP

Tuguegarao mayor confirms Covid-19 community transmission

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan: Mayor Jefferson Soriano has confirmed that there is now community transmission in the city as two health workers at the Cagayan...

Oil firms slash fuel prices 

Oil companies will again impose a hefty price rollback on Tuesday. The price of gasoline will be slashed by P2 per liter, diesel by 50...

12 doctors have died of Covid-19 – PHAPI chief

TWELVE doctors have died of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), the head of the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines Incorporated (PHAPI) confirmed on Sunday. “Ang latest count po natin...

Laguna under total lockdown

THE Laguna provincial government announced on Saturday that it was now under total lockdown due to the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Gov....

PH Covid-19 cases breach 1,000 mark, death toll rises to 68

THE number of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases breached the 1,000 mark, with 272 new infections and 68 deaths, the Department of Health (DoH)...

Today's Front Page