Philippe Coutinho scored his first Liverpool hat trick to help power the Reds into the UEFA Champions League round of 16 with an emphatic 7-0 win over Spartak Moscow at Anfield on Wednesday.
Three goals in the opening 18 minutes stunned the Russian side and confirmed the Reds’ status as winners of Group E.
First, Coutinho, wearing the captain’s armband for the night, scored an early spot kick before sweeping in a second soon after. Roberto Firmino then got in on the act with a first-time finish from close range.
Sadio Mane added the fourth moments into the second half with a thumping volley, and Coutinho completed his hat trick by finding the bottom corner via a deflection.
Mane bagged a sixth with 15 minutes remaining, turning home substitute Daniel Sturridge’s unselfish cutback from close range, before Mohamed Salah typically added his name to the score-sheet to complete the rout.
Liverpool progresses into the next stage via first place in the standings and will take its place in Monday’s draw.
The key points:
– Coutinho scores twice in opening 15 minutes, including a penalty kick
– Firmino on target on 18 minutes before Mane nets early in second half
– Coutinho completes hat-trick with deflected strike, and Mane adds sixth
– Salah completes scoring
– Can to miss next game after early booking
– Reds claim top spot in Group E