Liverpool reaches Europa knockout stage
Udine, Italy (Sports Network) - Liverpool escaped its Europa League group with 1-0 win over Udinese on Thursday, as the English club advanced to the knockout stage despite finishing level on 10 points with Anzhi and Young Boys.
Jordan Henderson scored for Liverpool, driving the ball through a crowd in the area just 23 minutes into the match in Italy. With Young Boys defeating Anzhi, 3-1, Liverpool vaulted to the top of Group A on a tiebreaker.
Eulogio Zarate, Moreno Costanzo and Alexander Gonzalez scored for Young Boys, but the win still left the Swiss club third behind Russian side Anzhi. Udinese was last with four points.
Liverpool will join Chelsea, the first defending European champion eliminated in group play of the Champions League, Newcastle and Tottenham in the last 32.
Tottenham also punched its ticket to the knockout stages Thursday, as Emmanuel Adebayor and Jermain Defoe scored, and Clint Dempsey created an own goal, in a 3-1 win over Panathinaikos in Group J.
With the match level at 1-all, Dempsey headed a ball off the crossbar that hit the ground, then the back of Panathinaikos goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis to find the net for the match-winner.
Tottenham went through in second place, as Lazio finished an undefeated stage with a 4-1 win over Maribor powered by two goals from Sergio Floccari.
In Group B, Viktoria Plzen claimed the top spot as Vaclav Prochazka scored for the Czech side in a 1-0 win against Atletico Madrid, which also advanced. Both had already sealed advancement.
Victor Mare and Hanan Maman scored as Hapoel Tel Aviv beat Academica, 1-0, for its first win of the tournament.
In Group C, Talgo Cigerci, Mike Hanke and Luuk de Jong lifted Monchengladbach to a 3-0 win over Fenerbahce, although both sides had already clinched a place in the knockout stage. Fenerbahce finished first, followed by Monchengladbach.
AEL picked up its first win of the tournament, 3-0, over Marseille, but stayed bottom of the group.
In Group D, Cheick Diabate scored twice as Bordeaux secured the top spot with a 2-0 win over Newcastle, which also went through in second, and Maritimo got its first win of the tournament, 2-1, over Club Brugge.
In Group E, 10-man Steaua Bucharest used a goal form Raul Rusescu in a 1-1 tie at Copenhagen to remain atop the group, while Stuttgart also advanced despite a 1-0 loss to previously winless Molde on a tiebreaker over Copenhagen.
In Group F, Roman Zozulya scored twice as Dnipro secured its fifth win of the stage and first place with a 4-0 victory over AIK, and Napoli - which had also clinched a knockout berth - lost 3-1 at home to PSV Eindhoven.
In Group G, Basel used a 0-0 draw against first-place Genk to secure its place in the knockout stage as the second-place side, while Videoton's match against Sporting Lisbon in Portugal was postponed to Friday.
In Group H, Rubin finished first after a 1-1 draw at Partizan, while Inter was held to a 2-2 draw at home against Neftchi Baku to end second. Rubin and Inter had already clinched knockout berths.
In Group I, Mouhamadou-Naby Sar and Yassine Benzia scored as Lyon downed Ironi Kiryat Shmona, 2-0, to finish unbeaten atop the group and Sparta Prague warmed up for the knockout stage with a 0-0 draw against Athletic Bilbao.
In Group K, Metalist Kharkiv stayed atop the group despite a 1-0 loss against previously winless Rapid Vienna, and Bayer Leverkusen used a goal from Julien Riedel to edge Rosenborg, 1-0, to finish level on points with Metalist.
In Group L, Hannover blew a two-goal lead against Levante, but held onto the top spot with a 2-2 draw in a clash of clubs already guaranteed a place in the knockout stage. Helsinborg beat Twente, 3-1, in the other match.
12/06 17:34:51 ET