Europa League Roundup, Mar. 11

Five-time European champion Liverpool is in danger of Europa League

elimination after losing 1-0 at Lille on Thursday in the away leg

of Round of 16 series.

Eden Hazard scored from a freekick to give Lille the

advantage against Liverpool, which is also struggling to qualify

for any European competition next season due to its poor form in

the Premier League.

“I have confidence we can beat anyone on a good day at

Anfield. The fans will play a part, they will push and will be

behind the team,” Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez said. “Lille are a

good side, with good players and they are dangerous. We will play a

difficult game at Anfield, but have confidence we can beat them.”

It was a better night for two-time European champion

Juventus, Hamburg and Standard Liege which all posted 3-1

victories.

There were three 1-1 draws – between Benfica and Marseille,

Valencia and Werder Bremen, and Rubin Kazan and Wolfsburg. Atletico

Madrid was held to a 0-0 draw by nine-man Sporting.

Liverpool is already struggling to get used to life in

Europe’s second-tier knockout competition and nearly survived

without conceding a goal in France until Hazard beat goalkeeper

Pepe Reina with a curling freekick from the left.

Lille could have added a second goal in the closing stages

but substitute striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hit the post from

close range with Reina beaten.

Liverpool’s fellow Premier League side, Fulham, also endured

a miserable night. Goals from Nicola Legrottaglie, Jonathan Zebina

and David Trezeguet gave Juventus a comfortable victory over

Fulham, which reduced the deficit through Dickson Etuhu.

In Greece, Milan Jovanovic scored a goal and assisted another

to help Belgian side Standard defeat Panathinaikos

Alex Witsel and Igor de Camargo scored Standard’s other

goals, while Loukas Vyntra was on target for Panathinaikos, which

beat AS Roma in the previous round.

At Hamburg, Joris Mathijsen, Ruud van Nistelrooy and David

Jarolim all scored as the German side gained a decisive lead over

Anderlecht.

“We have to play the next game with the same attitude,”

Hamburg striker Ruud van Nistelrooy said. “We need to score an away

goal and then it should be decided.”

In Madrid, Sporting held Atletico to a goalless draw despite

having Leandro Grimi and Tonel sent off.

Substitute Hatem Ben Arfa headed home in the last minute to

earn a 1-1 draw for Marseille at Benfica, canceling out Maxi

Pereira’s 75th-minute opener.

Wolfsburg has the upper hand in its clash with Rubin Kazan

after drawing in Russia. Zvjezdan Misimovic canceled out Cristian

Noboa’s opener for the German side.