Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp plays down significance of 50th European win

Liverpool had to come from a goal down before eventually seeing off Austria's LASK 3-1 in Linz thanks to goals from Nunez, Diaz and Salah

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp played down his record-breaking 50th European win after the 3-1 victory over LASK in Austria.

His side came from behind for the fourth time in six matches as goals from Darwin Nunez, Luis Diaz and substitute Mohamed Salah secured the German’s 50th European victory for the club – surpassing the record he held with Rafael Benitez.

“Let me say it like this, if I still have 50 after the group stage, then even if I’ve still got the most wins in Europe as a Liverpool manager then everybody will hate that,” he said.

“The highest number of wins but everybody will hate it.

“So it’s nice – we have played a lot of games in Europe, but it is good we have won that many and we have frequently qualified for finals.

“No it’s great but probably because the competition now has so many more games than in the past.”

Klopp made 11 changes from the weekend win over Wolves and that contributed to the disjointed, sluggish start.

LASK, in the biggest game in their history, took full advantage as they flew out of the blocks and scored through Florian Flecker’s expertly taken strike from a well-rehearsed corner.

“I’m really, really happy because I said before I knew it would be really difficult, and it was difficult, even if people didn’t believe me. Well-deserved win in the end and that’s it," Klopp said.

“I know that people expect us to fly through this competition. In the group stage it will not happen, in the knockout it will not happen. We have to dig in, dig into it.”

LASK coach Thomas Sageder was disappointed they could not capitalise on their good start.

“We played very brave, we were aggressive and we had a chance to score the second goal but it was only 1-0 at half-time,” he said.

“In the second half we saw how good a team Liverpool were but we fought to the end.”

In the other Group E game, Belgium club Union Saint-Gilloise drew 1-1 with French side Toulouse.

In Group A, Europe Conference League champion West Ham also had to come from a goal down to defeat newcomer TSC Backa Topola from Serbia 3-1 at London Stadium.

An own goal from Nemanja Petrovic started West Ham’s comeback in the 66th minute. Summer signing Mohammed Kudus headed home the second four minutes later in his first start for the Hammers with substitute Tomas Soucek heading in the third to finish it off.

“Tonight I thought we did enough to win although I didn’t think we were great in a lot of things we did,” said West Ham boss David Moyes.

Petar Stanic had beaten goalkeeper Łukasz Fabianski one-on-one three minutes after half time to put the Serbian team in front.

“The goal was probably our own doing but I didn’t fear the worst," Moyes said. "It was a game where we had the lot of the ball and gave us a chance to see if we could do what teams have done to us lately.

“The mistake changed the game – but it also made us more determined."

Brighton & Hove Albion's debut in a European competition suffered a blow in a 3-2 loss at home to AEK Athens in Group B.

Substitute Ezequiel Ponce netted the winner six minutes from time to put the Greek team ahead for the third time.

Forward Joao Pedro converted from the spot in each half for Brighton.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored his second goal in the 78th minute to salvage a 3-3 draw for Marseille at Ajax as the two former Champions League winners met in another game in one of the toughest groups.

Marseille were without coach Marcelino, who stepped down Wednesday after only a handful of games in charge.

Romelu Lukaku scored the second-half winner for last year's Europa League runners-up Roma in Group G in a 2-1 victory over Sheriff in Tiraspol. It was Lukaku's second goal since joining from Chelsea on a season-long loan.

Earlier, substitute midfielder Leandro Paredes netted from a deflected free kick in first-half stoppage time to give the visitors a 1-0 lead before Cristian Tovar evened it in the second half.

Roma, coached by Jose Mourinho, is trying to reach its third straight European final.

Also in Group G, Slavia Prague took home three points from Geneva after beating Servette 2-0.

Atalanta relied on second-half goals from forward Charles De Ketelaere and substitute Éderson in a 2-0 victory over Raków Czestochowa in Group D while Rangers beat Real Betis 1-0 in Group C.

Ludovic Blas scored the first goal in the competition this season in the second minute to help Rennes beat Maccabi Haifa 3-0 in Group F. In the group’s other game, Panathinaikos defeated Villarreal, the 2021 Europa League champions, 2-0.

In Group H, Florian Wirtz, Aminde Adli, Victor Boniface and substitute Jonas Hofmann had a goal each for Bayer Leverkusen to rout Swedish side Hacken 4-0.

Updated: September 22, 2023, 5:09 AM