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Salzburg march on with Standard success

R. Standard de Liège 1-3 FC Salzburg
Roger Schmidt's team ensured a smooth passage to the round of 32 thanks in part to a wonderful acrobatic volley by top scorer Alan.

Alan celebrates after scoring Salzburg's third
Alan celebrates after scoring Salzburg's third ©AFP/Getty Images

FC Salzburg will feature in the round of 32 after maintaining their 100% record in UEFA Europa League Group C with a 3-1 defeat of R. Standard de Liège, whose hopes of progress are over.

Despite being on the back foot for long stretches, it was the visitors who finished the first half in control courtesy of quickfire strikes from Dušan Švento and Kevin Kampl. Paul-José Mpoku momentarily reduced the deficit before Alan's fourth goal of the competition put the result beyond doubt.

The corresponding fixture on matchday three unfolded at dizzying pace and the early evidence suggested this encounter would be no different. Standard's enthusiasm should arguably have been rewarded on four minutes when Michy Batshuayi accepted a neat return from Yoni Buyens and fired into the legs of Péter Gulácsi. The same player was then denied by the woodwork after shrugging off Martin Hinteregger and his frustrations were compounded by another sprawling save from Gulácsi.

The Belgian club's profligacy was punished three minutes before the interval as Alan darted to the byline and centred for Švento, who tapped in at the back post. A sublime second made Standard's task mountainous, Kampl exchanging passes with Alan on the edge of the area and caressing the ball in off a post.

The hosts were back in contention ten minutes into the second period when Mpoku fired in from close range after his initial effort had been blocked. Their momentum evaporated in the blink of an eye, however, Valon Berisha scampering down the right at the other end and crossing for Alan, who rounded off the scoring with an exquisite volley.