Published: Thu, December 07, 2017
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Memorable night of firsts for Coutinho in Liverpool rout

Memorable night of firsts for Coutinho in Liverpool rout

Stand-in skipper Philippe Coutinho led Liverpool to the UEFA Champions League knockout stages as Group E victor, scoring a hat-trick in a 7-0 demolition of Spartak Moscow at Anfield. We didn't do a lot, it was a bridge day, but what we did they could do.

Liverpool was one of four English teams to qualify in first place, along with Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham, and its tally of 23 group-stage goals is the second-highest in the competition's history, only behind Paris Saint-Germain's 25 from this season too.

Two minutes later, Coutinho broke through the Russian side's defense and sent a left-footed drive that was deflected into the back of the net to complete his hat-trick and makes it 5-0.

Up stepped Captain (for the night) Coutinho to coolly dispatch the penalty. "We will see what happens this time but we have no preferred opponent", said Klopp, who took Borussia Dortmund to the final in 2013.

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The referee didn't add any time on to save Moscow more torture and the reds finish with a 7-0 scoreline and comfortably top of the group.

With the Merseyside Derby in mind subs rolled on for Liverpool as they shifted into second gear, controlling much of the possession.

Real Madrid's domestic woes continued at the weekend as they failed to take advantage of a Barcelona slip-up by being held at Athletic Bilbao.

A hat-trick from Philippe Coutinho, a brace from Sadio Mane and singles from Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah ensured Liverpool topped Group E in style. "And if you see how Dom Solanke performed at Stoke, how Daniel Sturridge performed when he came on tonight - he could have scored two or three and he made a goal for Sadio - that's good".

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Mane's second half pair were lovely for different reasons.

"I usually get Real Madrid if it's possible".

No. Within 3 minutes of the restart it was 4-0 as Mane got the goal he had been threatening in the first half.

But Keane believes Klopp's men have not been provided with a challenge so far. Salah finally made it a full set for the Fab Four with a composed finish just five minutes from the end.

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Klopp has insisted he will field his strongest possible team this evening despite facing Everton in the Premier League on Sunday.

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