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After Liverpool's first home game in the group ended in a surprise 3-2 defeat to Udinese, it seemed that the Reds had a lot of work to do just to qualify at all.
Three points against Anzhi at home, a defeat away and a sloppy draw at home to Young Boys, just made it even more difficult for fans to imagine anything other than second place being the target.
However, Liverpool's win in Udine coupled with a 3-1 Young Boys victory over Anzhi left the Russian and Swiss sides tied on points with the Reds—and Liverpool ran out group winners because of the head-to-head mini-league results.
Qualifying top of the group obviously comes with benefits; Liverpool will be seeded and therefore avoid all the sides who won their respective Europa League groups, as well as the four best third-placed teams who drop into the competition from the Champions League.
That is not to say, of course, that the round of 32 will be easy—far from it.
Liverpool can face any second place team, and that includes the likes of Atletico Madrid, the current holders, and the impressive young German side Borussia Mönchengladbach.
A tie with the Bundesliga side would of course evoke memories of European glories gone by for Liverpool.
Inter Milan, Stuttgart, Basel, Sparta Prague, Levante, Napoli and Bayer Leverkusen were other group stage runners-up who the Reds could face.