West Ham advance to the knockout stages

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West Ham have advanced to the knockout stages of the Europa League despite a home side goal of Tomas Soucek which cost them the win in a 2-2 draw at Genk on Thursday, but Leicester have work to do after being held in check 1-1 at home by Spartak Moscow.

Celtic boosted their chances of reaching the last 32 by beating Ferencvaros 3-2 in Hungary, while Rangers also have everything to play in the last two games after coming back from behind to draw 1 -1 at Brondby.

West Ham are set to secure top spot in Group H which will reserve their spot for the round of 16, but needed Said Benrahma to score twice in Belgium to preserve their unbeaten run in Europe.

In the 1000th game of his coaching career, David Moyes took the opportunity to rest a number of his key players ahead of Liverpool’s visit to London Stadium on Sunday and paid the price with a slow start as Joseph Paintsil opened the scoring for Genk after just four minutes.

The introduction of Soucek, Pablo Fornals and Jarrod Bowen after the break helped turn things around.

Benrahma completed a brilliant team move to equalize before using his individual skills to break free from Genk’s defense and shoot powerfully to the near post.

However, the visitors dropped points for the group’s first time when Soucek’s diving header flew into its own net with three minutes remaining.

“It was a moment that I will truly remember because the game will always be remembered for Tomas Soucek’s goal!” Moyes said on his personal benchmark.

“But overall I’m happy to reach the thousand games. It’s a great achievement.”

Leicester pays a penalty

Leicester remain third in Group C after Jamie Vardy missed a second-half penalty at King Power.

Victor Moses led the Russians in the lead before Daniel Amartey quickly equalized.

Vardy’s shot on goal was saved by Aleksandr Selikhov with 15 minutes remaining.

Serie A leaders Napoli now lead the group after beating Legia Warsaw 4-1 to move to seven points with Poles at six and Leicester at five.

“Overall the players played well, created a lot of chances and we missed the penalty,” Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers said.

“We never had the killer instinct in the box to seize opportunities.”

Celtic moved closer to a point from Real Betis in Group G thanks to goals from Kyogo Furuhashi, Jota and Liel Abada in Budapest.

Betis were beaten 4-0 by Leverkusen and Moussa Diaby scored twice for the Germans.

Leverkusen only needs one point from their two remaining games to secure first place and a place in the last 16.

Lyon are already in the round of 16 as a 3-0 victory over Sparta Prague won Group A.

Sparta and Rangers are tied on four points, but the Czechs have the advantage on a head-to-head record ahead of the two sides’ meeting at Ibrox on November 25.

Ianis Hagi came off the bench to save a point for the Scottish champions in Copenhagen after falling behind on Leon Balogun’s own goal.

Eintracht Frankfurt are the third team to qualify after a 3-1 win at Olympiacos.

A four-goal thriller that ended 2-2 between Marseille and Lazio left Group E as it was in the early evening as Galatasaray was held 1-1 by Lokomotiv Moscow.

The Turkish giants lead the section with eight points, three ahead of Lazio with Marseille one further.

Monaco maintain a two-point lead over La Liga leaders Real Sociedad after both Group B games ended in draws.

Sociedad were only able to pull off a 1-1 draw at home against Sturm Graz to give PSV Eindhoven hope of qualifying as they drew 0-0 in the Principality.

(AFP)

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