UEFA Europa League 2023: Liverpool Lose 3-2 At Toulouse But Luis Díaz Still Has Reason To Celebrate, Here’s WHY Liverpool’s Luis Diaz reacts during UEFA Europa League 2023 match against Toulouse. (Photo: AP)

Liverpool’s comeback fell short in a 3-2 loss at Toulouse in the Europa League on Thursday but it was still a victorious day for striker Luis Díaz. Díaz’s father was released hours before the match, 12 days after his kidnapping in northern Colombia by members of the guerrilla group National Liberation Army, or ELN. Diaz had appealed for his father’s release after scoring Sunday in a Premier League match, revealing a T-shirt saying “Freedom for Papa” in Spanish.

On Thursday, Díaz didn’t score but still tested Toulouse goalkeeper Guillaume Restes with a low right-footed shot from outside the area in the first half. Aron Dønnum scored in the first half and Thijs Dallinga doubled the advantage just before the hour mark for the hosts, who lost 5-1 at Anfield two weeks ago.

Colombia’s National Liberation Army guerrillas free the kidnapped father of Liverpool soccer star Luis Diaz https://t.co/7qH45vXosm pic.twitter.com/rBdwqOfoov
— Reuters (@Reuters) November 10, 2023

An own goal from Cristian Cásseres made it 2-1 in the 74th minute but Frank Magri quickly restored the two-goal lead. Diogo Jota came on for Diaz in the 81st minute and scored eight minutes later. Liverpool thought its equalized in stoppage time but Jarell Quansah’s goal was disallowed by VAR.

The game was Jürgen Klopp’s 450th as manager for Liverpool. Before it, Klopp told told TNT Sports the Colombia striker was “really happy” with the news that his father was freed.

After the game, he was not that happy with his team’s performance. “It was well deserved to lose because they won pretty much all the decisive challenges, battles,” Klopp said. “We have too many situations where we should have won the ball but we didn’t.”

Liverpool leads Group E with nine points from four games. Toulouse trails by two in second. Leverkusen remained the last team with a perfect record after four games with a 1-0 victory at Qarabag in Group H. The Bundesliga leader reached the round of 16 after Victor Boniface scored the winner from the penalty spot in stoppage time.

Brighton scored early in each half to beat Ajax in Amsterdam 2-0 for its second straight win after defeating the struggling Dutch powerhouse by the same score two weeks ago. Forward Ansu Fati gave the Seagulls the lead against the run of play amid Ajax’s early dominance.

Simon Adingra doubled it on a counter-attack to lift Brighton to second place in Group B with seven points. Marseille leads with eight after Chancel Mbemba and Ismaïla Sarr scored in a 2-0 win at AEK Athens, which remains on four points in third. Slavia beat Roma 2-0 in Prague, handing José Mourinho’s team its first defeat. Václav Jurečka and Lukáš Masopust netted second-half goals for Slavia to tie Roma atop Group G with nine points each.

At London Stadium, Lucas Paquetá’s late volley secured a 1-0 for West Ham over Olympiacos to stay tied atop Group A with Freiburg, which routed Serbia’s TSC Bačka Topola 5-0. Borja Iglesias, Aitor Ruibal, Marc Roca and Abdessamad Ezzalzouli all scored for Real Betis in a 4-1 victory over Aris Limassol and keep the lead in Group C with nine points.

Danilo Pereira and Todd Cantwell scored within eight minutes in the first half to set Rangers on the way to a 2-1 victory over Sparta Prague. The Scots are second on seven. In Group D, Berat Djimsiti’s goal helped Atalanta maintain the top place with 10 points after a 1-0 win over Sturm Graz. Sporting is three points back in second after a 2-1 win over Poland’s Raków.

Europa Conference League

Viktoria Plzeň made it four wins from four with a 1-0 victory over Dinamo Zagreb to reach the round of 16 from the top spot in Group C. Last year’s runner-up Fiorentina beat Serbia’s Čukarički 1-0 to take a lead in Group F with eight points, leading Ferencvaros and Genk by two after the two drew 2-2 in Hungary.

PAOK was held at home 2-2 by Aberdeen to still top the standings in Group G with 10 points, with another title favorite Eintracht Frankfurt one point back after a 1-0 win at HJK Helsinki. Diego Carlos and Ollie Watkins rallied Aston Villa past Alkmaar 2-1 to share the lead of Group E with Legia Warsaw.

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