Champions League

'Fab Four' fire 7-goal Liverpool into last 16

2017-12-07 06:17
Philippe Coutinho (AP)

Liverpool - Philippe Coutinho's first Liverpool hat-trick propelled Jurgen Klopp's side to a 7-0 thrashing of Spartak Moscow on Wednesday that swept the Merseyside club into the Champions League last 16.

Sadio Mane scored twice and Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah both found the net as Liverpool's 'Fab Four' emphatically returned the five-time champions to the knockout rounds after a nine-year absence.

Group E winners Liverpool joined Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur in progressing from the group phase, making England the first country to send five teams into the round of 16.

It was Liverpool's second hefty group-stage win after a 7-0 rout of Maribor and erased memories of their previous outing in the competition, when they squandered a 3-0 lead to draw 3-3 away to runners-up Sevilla.

With Liverpool having plundered 32 goals in their last nine games, few teams will relish the prospect of facing off against Coutinho, Salah, Mane and Firmino in the last 16, the draw for which takes place on Monday.

But Klopp will have to do without midfielder Emre Can for the first leg of that tie, after he was booked against Spartak, and victory also came at the cost of an injury to left-back Alberto Moreno.

A Liverpool team showing five changes from Saturday's 5-1 romp at Brighton and Hove Albion were 3-0 up inside 18 minutes.

Coutinho sparked things off in the fourth minute, the Brazilian rolling a penalty into the bottom-right corner after Georgi Dzhikiya had barged into Salah as they waited for Coutinho's deep cross to reach them.

Liverpool's second goal, in the 15th minute, was a delight that showcased the 'Fab Four' at their clinical best.

From Mane's pass, Salah sent the ball out to Firmino on the right and his selfless square ball allowed Coutinho to tuck away his 50th goal in Liverpool colours.

Spartak's defending was as desperate as Liverpool's attacking was dazzling and a clumsy touch by Serdar Tasci opened the door to a third goal.

Unable to react quickly enough to Mane's cross, the German centre-back inadvertently presented the ball on a plate to Firmino, who used the outside of his right foot to steer a shot past Aleksandr Selikhov.

Selikhov fielded a deflected shot from Salah, while both Mane and Salah fired shots into the Anfield Road End as the home fans rose from their seats in anticipation of a fourth goal.

It was not all plain sailing for Klopp's men, however.

Can picked up a seventh-minute booking that triggered a one-game ban for sliding in on Ze Luis and Moreno hobbled off just before half-time after jarring his knee as he blocked a shot from Roman Zobnin.

James Milner took Moreno's place and made an immediate impact in the second half, swinging over a cross that was brilliantly volleyed home by Mane at the back post.

Three minutes later Coutinho added a fifth, charging onto Milner's pass and dispatching a shot that found its way past Selikhov via a deflection off Salvatore Bocchetti.

Mane made it 6-0 with 14 minutes remaining, hooking in a cross from substitute Daniel Sturridge, before Salah completed a resounding win with a sublime turn followed by a right-foot finish into the top-right corner.

Everton, who visit Anfield in Sunday's derby, were left with plenty of food for thought.

NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
Tuesday, 27 November 2018
AEK Athens v Ajax, Olympiako Stadio Spyros Louis 19:55
CSKA Moskva v Viktoria Plzen, Stadion Luzhniki 19:55
Juventus v Valencia, Allianz Stadium 22:00
Bayern Munchen v Benfica, Allianz-Arena 22:00
Olympique Lyonnais v Manchester City, Groupama Stadium 22:00
Manchester United v Young Boys, Old Trafford 22:00
Roma v Real Madrid, Stadio Olimpico 22:00
Hoffenheim v Shakhtar Donetsk, Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena 22:00
Wednesday, 28 November 2018
Atletico Madrid v Monaco, Estadio Wanda Metropolitano 19:55
Lokomotiv Moskva v Galatasaray, RZD Arena 19:55
Porto v Schalke 04, Estadio Do Dragao 22:00
PSG v Liverpool, Parc des Princes 22:00
PSV v Barcelona, Philips Stadion 22:00
Borussia Dortmund v Club Brugge, Signal-Iduna-Park 22:00
Napoli v Crvena Zvezda, Stadio San Paolo 22:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Internazionale, Wembley Stadium 22:00
Tuesday, 11 December 2018
Galatasaray v Porto, Turk Telekom Stadyumu 19:55
Schalke 04 v Lokomotiv Moskva, Veltins-Arena 19:55
Liverpool v Napoli, Anfield 22:00
Barcelona v Tottenham Hotspur, Camp Nou 22:00
Club Brugge v Atletico Madrid, Jan Breydelstadion 22:00
Monaco v Borussia Dortmund, Stade Louis II 22:00
Internazionale v PSV, Stadio Giuseppe Meazza 22:00
Crvena Zvezda v PSG, Stadion Rajko Mitic 22:00
Wednesday, 12 December 2018
Viktoria Plzen v Roma, Doosan Arena 19:55
Real Madrid v CSKA Moskva, Estadio Santiago Bernabeu 19:55
Valencia v Manchester United, Estadio de Mestalla 22:00
Benfica v AEK Athens, Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (da Luz) 22:00
Manchester City v Hoffenheim, Etihad Stadium 22:00
Ajax v Bayern Munchen, Johan Cruijff ArenA 22:00
Shakhtar Donetsk v Olympique Lyonnais, Oblasny SportKomplex Metalist 22:00
Young Boys v Juventus, STADE DE SUISSE Wankdorf Bern 22:00
Logs
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Which English Premier League club will progress furthest in this season's Champions League?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.