Published: Thu, December 07, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Salah and Mane score as Spartak Moscow suffer Champions League obliteration

Salah and Mane score as Spartak Moscow suffer Champions League obliteration

Jurgen Klopp's side were 3-0 ahead inside 18 minutes after a devastating opening salvo, and didn't let up after the break as they made a statement of intent ahead of Monday's last 16 draw.

Spartak's defence had been scrambled from the outset and they were punished for a fifth time in the 50th minute, Coutinho finding space in the area to wrong-foot Selikhov with a deflected effort off Salvatore Bocchetti.

It is Liverpool's second 7-0 win in the group following their victory by the same scoreline against Maribor in Slovenia in October. They have scored three goals or more in seven of those matches.

Liverpool was one of four English teams to top a group, along with Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham.

It puts aside the memory of both Rafa Benitez's final Champions League campaign with the reds of 2009/10 and Brendan Rodgers' dismal effort in 2014-15.

He sneered: "If Liverpool were playing in my back garden, I wouldn't watch them".

The five-times European champions took the lead in the fourth minute with a Coutinho penalty after Salah was pulled down by Georgi Dzhikiya.

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Coutinho added another two minutes later, latching onto another Milner cross and firing another left-footed effort in via a Spartak defender to make the score an astounding 5-0 by the 50th minute.

Senol Gunes' side won't be easy to beat as they embark on their first foray into the last 16 in 31 years, especially with a second leg in front of their vociferous home fans.

Keane said: "A comfortable night for them tonight, a good start and their attacking players certainly enjoyed it".

Prior to this game there were still doubts as to whether Liverpool had what it takes to qualify.

Spartak finished third in the group and dropped into the Europa League.

Liverpool's prize for winning their group, and reaching the knockout stage for the first time since 2008-09, will be a last-16 tie against either Basel, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk or the reigning champions Real Madrid.

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