06 Dec Magnificent seven from Liverpool as Spartak Moscow suffer Anfield mauling
A scintillating display of football from Liverpool’s ‘Fab Four’ saw Jurgen Klopp’s side blaze their way into the Champions League knockout phase with a 7-0 victory over Spartak Moscow.
A first Reds hat-trick for Philippe Coutinho stole the show but the quality of all the goals – particularly Sadio Mane’s volley for the fourth – proved once again when this team click into gear they are irrepressible.
Needing only a draw to progress the Reds, who last time out conceded a three-goal half-time lead to draw against Sevilla, left no room for doubt with the damage done by Coutinho (two) and Roberto Firmino inside 20 minutes.
Mane produced a superb volley and tumbling tap-in to sandwich Coutinho’s deflected shot for his treble – the first by a Liverpool player in the Champions League since Yossi Benayoun in 2007 – before top scorer Mohamed Salah scored his 18th of the season late on.
Tweet of the match
Former Liverpool striker John Aldridge (@Realaldo474) looks forward to the derby with Everton at the weekend.
Star man – Philippe Coutinho
Liverpool’s attacking quartet were all in scintillating form but the Brazilian playmaker outshone his team-mates, cutting Spartak open drifting in from the left and scoring his first hat-trick for the club.
Moment of the match
Sadio Mane’s far-post volley from substitute James Milner’s left-wing cross. The Senegal international had been left in the shadows somewhat by the exploits of his fellow attackers but his finish was a brilliant one.
The 23 goals scored by Liverpool is their best tally in a Champions League group stage, comfortably beating their previous best of 18 in 2007-08 and second only to Paris St-Germain (25 this season) in the all-time list.
Liverpool: Loris Karius 7, Joe Gomez 7, Dejan Lovren 7, Ragnar Klavan 7, Alberto Moreno 7, Emre Can 6, Georginio Wijnaldum 7, Philippe Coutinho 9, Mohamed Salah 8, Roberto Firmino 8, Sadio Mane 8. Subs: Trent Alexander-Arnold (for Lovren, 60) 7, James Milner (for Moreno, 44) 7, Daniel Sturridge (for Firmino, 72) 7.Spartak Moscow: Aleksandr Selikhov 5, Andrei Eschenko 4, Serdar Tasci 4, Salvatore Bocchetti 4, Georgi Dzhikiya 4, Denis Glushakov 5, Fernando 5, Roman Zobnin 5, Luiz Adriano 4, Quincy Promes 6, Ze Luis 5. Subs: Mario Pasalic (for Dzhikiya, 60) 5, Aleksandr Samedov (for Promes, 75) 4, Lorenzo Melgarejo (for Ze Luis, 51) 5.
Who’s up next?
Liverpool v Everton (Premier League, Sunday December 10)