Lamela hits Tottenham treble as Liverpool take top spot

Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur both advanced to the knockout stages of the Europa League as winners of their groups on Thursday as the likes of Fiorentina, Marseille and Anderlecht also progressed to the last 32. However, the two English representatives — who will be joined in the draw for the next round by Manchester United after their Champions League exit — concluded their group stage campaigns in contrasting fashion.

Tottenham Hotspur clinched top spot in Group J by outclassing Monaco with a 4-1 win at White Hart Lane powered by a treble from Argentine Lamela.   -  REUTERS

Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur both advanced to the knockout stages of the Europa League as winners of their groups on Thursday as the likes of Fiorentina, Marseille and Anderlecht also progressed to the last 32.

However, the two English representatives — who will be joined in the draw for the next round by Manchester United after their Champions League exit — concluded their group stage campaigns in contrasting fashion.

Lamela leads Spurs

Enjoying an excellent campaign in the Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur clinched top spot in Group J by outclassing Monaco with a 4-1 win at White Hart Lane.

Erik Lamela was the hero for Spurs, with the Argentine netting a first-half hat-trick to put Mauricio Pochettino’s side out of sight before Stephan El Shaarawy got one back for the visitors.

Tom Carroll added the fourth goal for Tottenham late on, and they go through with Anderlecht, who beat Qarabag 2-1 in Brussels in the night’s other game. Meanwhile, last season’s Champions League quarter-finalists Monaco are out of Europe altogether.

Liverpool held

Liverpool advanced to the knockout stages as winners of their group after a 0-0 draw with Sion in the bitter chill of Switzerland.

Jurgen Klopp’s side had already progressed so the German handed starts to the likes of Kolo Toure, Divock Origi and young left-back Brad Smith against opponents who required a point to confirm their own qualification for the last 32.

Smith’s performance was one of the biggest plusses in a game of few chances played in freezing temperatures and it was a result that suited both teams in the end.

Liverpool finish top of Group B after going unbeaten through their six games, while Sion advanced as well, although even a defeat would have sufficed for them because Rubin Kazan drew 2-2 at Bordeaux in the other match.

“It was difficult; the ground was very difficult to play and for both teams the first thing to do was show you were prepared for a game like this and that is what my team did,” said Klopp.

“I am really satisfied, no-one is injured and they were very focused and concentrated on the game.”

Fiorentina through

Serie A high-fliers Fiorentina confirmed their place in the last 32 with a 1-0 win at home to Belenenses of Portugal in Florence, Khouma Babacar scoring the only goal of the game.

La Viola progress in second place in Group I behind Swiss club Basel, who were 1-0 winners away to Lech Poznan.

It was a good night for Italian clubs in the competition, with already qualified Lazio drawing 1-1 away to Saint-Etienne in France and Napoli making it six wins from six in Group D with a 5-2 thumping of Legia Warsaw.

In a game marred by trouble between rival fans, Nathaniel Chalobah, Lorenzo Insigne, Jose Callejon and a double by Dries Mertens handed Serie A’s third-placed side a convincing win.

German full house

Augsburg joined fellow Bundesliga sides Borussia Dortmund and Schalke in advancing by virtue of a 3-1 success against Partizan Belgrade in Serbia.

The home side took the lead but the Bavarians, struggling domestically this season, turned the game around with Hong Jeon-Ho, captain Paul Verhaegh and Raul Bobadilla scoring.

Schalke ended the group stage unbeaten after a 4-0 victory away to Asteras Tripolis in Group K but already qualified Dortmund lost 1-0 at home to PAOK in Group C.

The German trio will be joined in the last 32 by Bayer Leverkusen, who were eliminated from the Champions League this midweek.

Celtic draw

Celtic finished without a win in Group A after a 1-1 draw with Fenerbahce in Istanbul that took the Turks through.

Lazar Markovic, on loan from Liverpool, put the Turks ahead but they had the Brazilian midfielder Diego sent off before Kris Commons came off the bench to secure a point for the already eliminated Scottish champions.

Other sides to go through on the night were Midtjylland of Denmark, Marseille, Lokomotiv Moscow and Sporting Lisbon.