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Sparta Prague boss names Liverpool star who showed ‘amazing quality’ and pays Reds ultimate compliment



Liverpool earned a 5-1 win over Sparta Prague and are in the driving seat to reach the Europa League quarter-finals.

Head coach Brian Priske has insisted Sparta Prague will go for the jugular when they face Liverpool in their Europa League return clash at Anfield – but admits his side are likely to exit the competition.

The Reds are firmly in the driving seat of the last-16 tie after a 5-1 romp over the Czech outfit in the first leg at the Letna Stadium. Darwin Nunez fired a first-half double while Alexis Mac Allister (penalty), Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez were on target for Jurgen Klopp’s men.

However, Sparta created plenty of chances in the first half especially but they lacked composure in the final third while Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher produced several fine saves.

Sparta will travel to Anfield next week with the game effectively a dead rubber. Priske took heart that his outfit were able to engineer opportunities against ‘one of the best teams in Europe and will try to do so again.

He said: “I told the team that in the end it is always my responsibility. I’m proud that the guys tried to play our football and didn’t focus on defending. That’s not our style of play. The players performed brilliantly, making good decisions in many ways and creating chances against one of the best teams in Europe. But from an individual point of view, we made too many mistakes, which will be punished by an opponent of this caliber. Despite the unfavorable result in the half, we did not let up and kept trying to score a goal.

“We will definitely not park the bus in front of our goal. But first we have to win on Sunday in Pilsen. Those players who will be concentrated and mentally and physically prepared for the next very difficult match of the Czech league will start. We will then try to get a good result in Liverpool, even though progressing to the next round will be very difficult. But we will definitely not defend.

“Darwin showed amazing quality. That’s why he also plays for one of the best clubs in the world. But they have more players of similar quality in their squad, which we have to respect. They came against us in full force and took the game against us seriously. They put all their strength into it, showing us respect. Our players had to face situations on the field that they do not know from regular matches. The difference between us and the leader of the Premier League table became apparent. As a result, I am sad that we let the opponent have so many chances and scored only one goal.”

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