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Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012

Inter into Europa League playoffs


LONDON — Former European champions Inter Milan, Liverpool and Marseille all sealed their places in the Europa League playoffs on Thursday.

Inter produced the least convincing performance of the night, losing 2-0 to Hajduk Split at San Siro in its second leg match of the third qualifying round. However, it went through with a 3-2 victory on aggregate.

Liverpool was a comfortable 3-0 winner over Gomel of Belarus, following a 1-0 away win, while Marseille also won 3-0 against Eskisehirspor, qualifying 4-1 on aggregate after being held to a 1-1 draw in Turkey.

Last season's finalist Athletic Bilbao lost 2-1 to Slaven Koprivnica but reached Friday's playoff round draw with a 4-3 aggregate win.

Winners of the playoff round, to be played Aug. 23 and 30, will qualify for the group stage.

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