Brighton, Liverpool and West Ham win to advance in the Europa League

Brighton & Hove Albion, Liverpool and West Ham United all qualified from the UEFA Europa League group stage with wins on Thursday night.

Joao Pedro’s second-half penalty was the difference as Brighton edged 10-man AEK Athens into their first European campaign in Greece.

At Anfield, Liverpool cruised to a comfortable 4-0 win over Las Vegas to secure top spot in Group E and a place in the last 16.

Meanwhile, Tomas Sucek’s late winner secured all three points for the Hammers against Beka Topola in Serbia.

In the UEFA Europa Conference League, Aston Villa qualified from Group E after defeating Legia Warsaw 2–1 thanks to goals from Moussa Diaby and Alex Moreno.

How Brighton’s match unfolded

Roberto De Zerbi gave Jake Hinshelwood his Europa League debut, while Kaoru Mitoma returned from injury. Joao Pedro was also recalled to the starting XI in place of the injured Anzu Fati in last weekend’s 3-2 defeat at Nottingham Forest.

Brighton struggled to create chances in the first half and AEK came close to opening the scoring when Steven Zuber’s shot was deflected off the post by a sliding Lewis Dunkel.

The Seagulls scored from the penalty spot on 51 minutes when Joao Pedro was missed by Damian Szymanski.

Brighton’s Brazilian calmly dispatched Stankovic for his eighth goal of the season.

AEK were reduced to 10 men in the 65th minute when midfielder Mijad Kazinovic was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Joel Veldman.

Domagoj Vida missed a great chance to equalize for the home side, but Brighton headed wide from 12 yards for a historic win.

Victory means Brighton will play in the next round, although they will need to beat Marseille in the final Group B match at the Amex Stadium on 14 December to secure top spot and avoid a place in the play-offs.

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De Serpi’s side are back in Premier League action when they travel to Chelsea on Sunday.

Group B positions
group points GD
Marseille 11 +5
Brighton 10 +4
AEK 4 -4
Ajax 2 -5
How Liverpool’s game unfolded

Jurgen Klopp made nine changes from the team that drew 1-1 at Manchester City last weekend, with only Mohamed Salah and Kostas Simikas retaining their starting places.

Luis Diaz got Liverpool on their way after 12 minutes, powerfully heading home Joe Gomez’s cross for his first goal at Anfield since August.

Three minutes later Liverpool’s front three combined brilliantly to score the second goal, Diaz finding Salah who tapped Cody Kakpo at the far post.

Salah made it 3-0 on 51 minutes from the penalty spot after Lask goalkeeper Tobias Laval fouled Kagbo.

Wrong, Liverpool

Kakpo added a fourth in the second minute of added time, capitalizing on a superb pass from substitute Trent Alexander-Arnold to put the icing on Liverpool’s 10th home win.

The Reds now skip February’s playoff rounds, traveling to Belgian side USG in their final group game.

Next up for Klopp’s men in the Premier League is a clash with Fulham on Sunday.

Group E levels
group points GD
Liverpool 12 +11
Toulouse 8 -2
USG 5 -4
Shot 3 -5
How West Ham’s game unfolded

David Moyes made seven changes from the side that beat Burnley 2-1, with Devin Mubama handed his first start of the season after impressing as a substitute at Turf Moor.

The Hammers lacked coherence for much of the match, managing only one shot on target before Sucek provided the game’s decisive moment in the 89th minute.

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After latching on to Maxwell Garnett’s brilliant cross and doing so against Burnley, the Czech fired home a volley from close range to make it two late winners in the space of a week.

Sucek, West Ham

Soucek has now scored five goals in his last five games for club and country.

It takes Moyes’ side top of Group A, needing just a point against Freiburg in the final round of group matches to secure top spot and avoid a playoff against the third-placed team in their UEFA Champions League group in February.

Next up for West Ham in the Premier League is Crystal Palace on Sunday.

Group A levels
group points GD
West Ham 12 +4
Freiburg 12 +12
Olympiakos 4 -6
Poplar again 1 -10
How Aston Villa’s match unfolded

Unai Emery made five changes from the side that won 2-1 at Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, handing Moreno his first start of the season after recovering from injury.

John Duran started up front for Villa, with Allie Watkins out of the squad with „some soreness” in Wednesday’s training session.

Diaby opened the scoring four minutes later, cutting in from the right before curling a shot past Legia goalkeeper Kokber Tobias.

But Villa’s lead lasted just 16 minutes as Legia equalized through Ernest Mucci.

Emery’s men restored their advantage on 58 minutes as Moreno marked his return with his first goal for the club from a Douglas Lewis free-kick.

Moreno, Villa

That goal proved enough to see Villa progress from the group stage, but they will need a point in the final in Srinjski in two weeks’ time to go beyond the play-off round and directly into the last 16.

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When they travel to AFC Bournemouth on Sunday, they will be hoping to claim their third win in seven days and make it back-to-back wins in all competitions.

Group E levels
group points GD
Aston Villa 12 +5
Legia Warsaw 9 +2
The 6 -3
Srinjski 3 -4

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