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Europa League wrap: Henderson earns Liverpool win

Liverpool qualified for the knock-out stages of the Europa League on goal difference after a 1-0 win at Udinese on Thursday.

The Anfield outfit finished first in Group A thanks to the win, but with Young Boys and Anzhi also collecting 10 points, Jordan Henderson’s first-half strike proved crucial as they reached the last 32 of the competition.

Jonjo Shelvey – introduced as an early substitute for Nuri Sahin – volleyed wide in the early stages while Suso also went close.

And Liverpool took the lead after 23 minutes when a Stewart Downing corner – which Luis Suarez headed down to Suso – led to the only goal of the match.

Suso’s smart lay-off created the chance and Henderson drilled a deflected effort into the back of the net after 23 minutes.

Glen Johnson had an effort ruled out for off-side and Henderson and Suarez almost doubled the lead with good efforts after the break.

Udinese’s task was made tougher when defender Giovanni Pasquale was sent off for a second yellow card with 11 minutes remaining as Brendan Rodgers’ side held on for an important away win.

The other match in Group A saw Young Boys defeat Anzhi 3-1 in Bern, although the result ultimately counted for nothing.

Newcastle United also qualified despite Cheick Diabate scoring twice in a 2-0 Group D win for French side Bordeaux while in the same group, Maritimo edged Club Brugge 2-1.

In Group C, Borussia Moenchengladbach beat Fenerbahce 3-0 in a match between two already qualified sides while AEL defeated Marseille by the same scoreline.

Czech side Viktoria Plzen finished on top of Group B thanks to a 1-0 win over Atletico Madrid, while Hapoel Tel Aviv ended their run in the competition with a 2-0 home success against Academica of Portugal.

Norway’s Molde won 1-0 at Stuttgart in Group E but it was a result that failed to lift them from the bottom of the group, and FC Copenhagen drew 1-1 with Steaua Bucharest.

And in Group F, PSV, who had no chance of reaching the last 32, came from behind to notch a 3-1 win at Napoli thanks to Tim Matavz’s hat-trick and Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk thumped AIK of Sweden 4-0.

Thu 6 December, 2012
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