Despite the odds in Europe, Liverpool can never be counted out – European football discussion.

3 min read

The only consolation is Jurgen should play a full second string and go all in for the league,” he added. Now there’s a real dilemma. Neither will abandon their hunt based on one loss, nor should they.

Can Liverpool be seen to down tools in Europe, then? In short, no. Three-nil is not an unassailable scoreline, besides, Liverpool and famous European comebacks have history.

Let us journey back to 2019 – the Reds fought back from three goals down against Barcelona, and not just any Barca, the Lionel Messi brand of Barca. Then there’s 2005. Champions League final in Istanbul.

If you know, you know. Pride and momentum are at play too. Klopp said so himself after losing to Palace on Sunday – Liverpool lacked conviction based on a rocky run of results.

No better way to bounce back from a rough patch than a morale-boosting fightback. Imagine the scenes. There are no guarantees Liverpool can go to Bergamo and summon extraordinary powers of recovery, of course, because Atalanta won’t roll over easy.

But they have to at least try. *Laura Hunter*

Bayer Leverkusen are now the champions of Germany and, 43 games into this most spectacular of seasons, remain unbeaten in all competitions. Given Liverpool’s surprise thumping at the hands of Atalanta, Xabi Alonso’s side are now favourites for the trophy.

Maybe Leverkusen overdoing the celebrations is the best bet? The first goal would certainly make things interesting and even if West Ham are unable to progress, a one-goal win could have consequences behind the prize of being the first to beat Leverkusen this season. A Premier League team beating a Bundesliga team in the Europa League would impact the coefficient race given that only one will be able to claim the additional Champions League place.

Even a win for West Ham on the night would be enough to earn points. That could be important for West Ham because if the Premier League do take the extra place then, unless Coventry pull off an unlikely FA Cup win, eighth would be enough to qualify for the Europa Conference League. And West Ham have fond memories of that competition.

*Adam Bate*

The ease with which Aston Villa reached the Conference League quarter-finals has served to underplay the size of their achievement. It’s 26 years since they were in the last eight of a major European competition. Back in 1998, they fell agonisingly short against Atletico Madrid, who progressed on away goals.

Villa won the second leg at Villa Park thanks to two goals in three second-half minutes, but couldn’t add the third that would have secured a famous victory. Unlike John Gregory’s side 26 years ago, Unai Emery’s outfit are in an advantageous position as they travel to Lille, having won the first leg 2-1. Emery spoke of the need for consistency from his side after the victory at the Emirates.

If they can replicate that performance in north London, a first major European semi-final since 1982 – the year they won the European Cup – will be within their grasp. Instant access to live action from the Premier League, EFL, F1, England Cricket and so much more.

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