Well versed in the peril of three-goal advantages, Liverpool took a 3-0 lead over Spartak Moscow to the interval and did not look back, securing Group E honours courtesy of a 7-0 victory Wednesday at Anfield.
Once favourites to win the group until it surrendered a three-goal lead to Sevilla on Matchday 5, Liverpool is off to the knockout stage for the first time since 2008-09. The Spaniards will join the Reds in the last-16 after a 1-1 draw at Slovenians Maribor, while Spartak is off to the Europa League by virtue of finishing third in the group.
Philippe Coutinho was at his best, pairing a fourth-minute penalty with a slick finish 11 minutes later. Roberto Firmino made it 3-0 nil moments later, giving the Brazilian six goals in the group stage, which set a club record. It was a fitting standard for a dazzling front-three made up of Firmino, Mohamed Salah, and Sadio Mane against a helpless Spartak side.
Mane got a deserved goal seconds after the interval when the Senegalese …read more