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Coutinho Shines in Liverpool Goal Fest

Three players challenging for the ball

Philippe Coutinho’s hat-trick inspired Liverpool to a 7-0 thrashing of Spartak Moscow at Anfield on Wednesday as they finished unbeaten in Group E.

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The skipper for the day put the Reds ahead from the penalty spot after just four minutes before doubling their lead on the quarter-hour mark.

Roberto Firmino quickly added a third as Jurgen Klopp’s side were cruising at the break, with Coutinho, a brace from Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah completing the rout in the second half.

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The hosts took just four minutes to stamp their authority on proceedings as Salah was fouled inside the box by Giorgi Jikia, and Coutinho sent Aleksandr Selikhov the wrong way from 12 yards out to open the scoring.

Silky one-touch football tore the visitors apart on 15 minutes as Mane, Salah and Firmino all combined to set up Coutinho to make it 2-0 from close range.

The Merseyside giants were firmly in command three minutes later when Mane’s cross deflected off Serdar Tasci and fell kindly for Firmino to fire home from a few yards out.

Spartak looked to respond as Luiz Adriano and Quincy Promes both drew saves out of Loris Karius as the first half wore on, but there would be no further goals before half-time.

The Reds were quickly out of the blocks in the second half as they added a fourth goal on 47 minutes, with Mane getting in on the act with a fine volley.

Worse was to follow for the visitors when Coutinho bagged his third of the evening on 50 minutes, although a deflection from Salvatore Bocchetti helped the ball on its way past Selikhov.

Liverpool showed no signs of easing up as they scored again on 76 minutes, with substitute Daniel Sturridge squaring the ball for Mane to convert from close range.

There was still time for Salah to get his name in lights as he met James Milner’s header to slot home four minutes from time as book the Reds’ place in the knockout stages for the first time since the 2008.

© TEAMtalk Media

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