‘NOT OUR STYLE’ – Sparta Prague boss sends Anfield warning amid Liverpool ‘quality’ claim

Liverpool seem to be one step ahead in the Europa League quarter-finals after a 5-1 win over Sparta Prague, but the Czech side’s boss isn’t losing hope.

Prague boss Brian Priske believes his side were better than the 5-1 defeat to Liverpool might suggest, and has issued a warning to the Reds ahead of the return leg at Anfield.

Alexis Mac Allister’s penalty and Darwin Núñez looked to have put the tie beyond doubt before half-time in the first leg, despite the hosts boasting plenty of chances.

Sparta managed to pull a goal back when Conor Bradley fired into his own net just moments into the second half, but Liverpool soon hit back.

Luis Díaz restored the three-goal advantage before Dominik Szoboszlai rounded off the scoring in stoppage time, giving the Reds a commanding lead ahead of next week’s second leg.

Reacting to his side’s defeat, Priske felt his side may have deserved more than they got, but ultimately conceded to a gulf in quality between the two sides. “It’s really hard,” he said (via iSport.cz).

“The performance was better than it appears from the result. We are disappointed with the goals we conceded. But we also have to find the positives. We wanted to create chances, which we did, we could have scored more than one goal. There was a lot of quality against us.

“I am proud of them. We could only defend, but that’s not our style. We wanted to show our style. But we made two big individual mistakes that Liverpool were able to punish. I’m glad that we tried even in the second half, when we were losing by three goals.

“It wasn’t the start we wanted, but if it was a key one? We managed to get back into the game but it was Liverpool’s quality that decided. We can play against good European teams, but they are one or more levels higher than what we have faced before.”

It would take a quite remarkable turnaround for Jürgen Klopp’s side to not progress through to the quarter-finals now. Nevertheless, Priske has vowed not to shy away from the challenge at Anfield.

“We will definitely not park the bus there,” he added. “Maybe we’ll bring our own. Now we have to prepare the team for a tough game in the league. Then comes Liverpool. The procedure will be difficult, but we will leave the imaginary bus in Prague.”



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