Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah looked visibly disappointed as his team suffered a devastating defeat in Toulouse during the UEFA Europa League 2023/24 match. The match ended with a score of 3-2 in favor of Toulouse, after a last-minute equalizer by Liverpool was overturned by a VAR review.
Toulouse, who were in the French second tier just two seasons ago, took the lead when Kostas Tsimikas made a terrible error, allowing Aron Donnum to score. Thijs Dallinga then doubled the lead with an impressive finish, giving Toulouse a strong start to the second half. Even a bizarre own goal did not halt their momentum, as substitute Frank Magri scored just two minutes later, making it 3-1.
Liverpool managed to pull one back in the 89th minute with a goal from Diogo Jota, setting up a tense finish. They thought they had equalized when Jarell Quansah scored in the seventh added minute, but a VAR review ruled it out due to an Alexis Mac Allister handball in the build-up. This decision came after three minutes and two yellow cards for Toulouse players.
Despite the defeat, Liverpool still sits at the top of Europa League Group E with nine points. However, Toulouse is just two points behind in second place and has a three-point cushion over third-placed Union Saint-Gilloise, who lost to LASK.
One of the main talking points of the match was Kostas Tsimikas’ costly error. With Andy Robertson injured, Tsimikas has been given more playing time, but his performance in this match raised doubts about his suitability for the team. He was at fault for the first Toulouse goal, losing possession under little pressure and giving away a crucial chance. Tsimikas was also ineffective in attack, leading to his substitution at half-time. Joe Gomez was moved to left-back, a position he also played in the previous match against Luton Town, indicating that Tsimikas’ future at Anfield may be in jeopardy.
The player of the match was Thijs Dallinga from Toulouse. The Dutchman scored a brilliant goal and caused constant problems for Liverpool’s defenders with his physicality, clever movement, and clinical finishing.
Overall, it was a disappointing result for Liverpool, but Toulouse showed their quality and resilience, proving that they are a force to be reckoned with in the Europa League.