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‘We have never faced anything like this’ – Sparta boss Brian Priske’s classy message to Liverpool

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Liverpool dismantled Sparta Prague over two legs and Brian Priske says the Reds should not be in the Europa League

Sparta Prague boss Brian Priske believes Liverpool are in the wrong competition after his side suffered a Europa League thrashing.

Cody Gakpo scored twice and Darwin Nunez, Bobby Clark, Mohamed Salah and Dominik Szoboszlai also netted as the Reds earned a thumping 6-1 triumph at Anfield on Thursday to win their round of 16 tie 11-2 on aggregate.

Liverpool scored four times inside the opening 15 minutes to quash any faint hopes Sparta had of causing Jurgen Klopp’s side any problems.

And Priske believes the standard of football shown by the Reds over the two games was more than worthy of the Champions League.

“We faced a world-class team, big respect to Liverpool how they played these two legs, how they approached the game,” he said. “They put in the pure quality they have. We are disappointed in the personal mistakes that we made both in the first game and definitely also here in first 20 minutes. But we faced a world-class team here again.

“We scored one goal, but it’s difficult to find something positive from the game.

“We have never faced anything like this. Liverpool is a Champions League team and should be in the Champions League. They may be Premier League winners in two months. Big respect to the players of Liverpool and the coaching staff.”

Priske added: “The most important thing for me to say is I hope the Czech football fans at home acknowledge the level from Sparta to Liverpool is massive. We knew when we saw the draw that it was going to be tough.

“I felt we competed better in the first game but overall they were much, much better than us. But it must not take away the European campaign we had as a club.

“I hope people don’t measure the team on these two games – it’s a completely different level to what we’ve played against this season. We’ve played good teams like Rangers and Galatasaray but to Liverpool is just a complete new different level.”

Sparta were backed by a strong vocal following of more than 2,000 supporters which was acknowledged by the visiting players after the final whistle.

And Priske added: “I don’t think I have the right words to tell them the appreciation that we feel for them. It was unbelievable. I’ve never experienced something like this before in my career as a player or coach.

“Losing 5-1 in Prague and 6-1 tonight and for 90 minutes they kept cheering and singing. It’s proof the fans appreciate what the players have done throughout the whole European campaign. It was amazing what they showed today, it makes me and the rest of the club really, really proud.”

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