Liverpool beat Gomel 3-0 to give manager Brendan Rodgers a winning home debut and passage to the playoff round of soccer’s Europa League. Athletic Bilbao and Inter Milan advanced even after losses last night.
Italian striker Fabio Borini, Steven Gerrard and Glen Johnson scored at Anfield as Liverpool, a three-time winner of the UEFA Cup, the competition’s forerunner, completed a 4-0 victory in the two-game series against Gomel of Belarus.
Bilbao, the runner-up in Europe’s second-tier club championship last season, advanced 4-3 on aggregate following a 2-1 loss against Slaven Koprivnica in Croatia. Inter, also a three-time UEFA Cup winner, was beaten 2-0 in Italy by Hajduk Split, though advanced 3-2 on aggregate.
The draw for the playoffs will be made today in Nyon, Switzerland. The winners of those two-game series will advance to the 48-team group stage, which starts Sept. 20.