Sports

Champions League group stage goal record broken as Coutinho nets hat trick

Champions League group stage goal record broken as Coutinho nets hat trick

Can, Wijnaldum and Coutinho named alongside Salah, Mane and Firmino.

Philippe Coutinho scored his first hat-trick for the Reds.

He sneered: "If Liverpool were playing in my back garden, I wouldn't watch them". The seven scored against Spartak took their tally up to 69 in all competitions for the season.

"All the teams in the Champions League have strong squads".

Manchester United, Basel, Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, Roma, Chelsea, Barcelona, Juventus, Manchester City, Besiktas, Tottenham and Real Madrid had already secured their places in Monday's round of 16 draw.

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Spartak arrived in the northwest of England still in with a chance of qualifying. He now also holds the distinction of being the club's fastest-ever Champions League scorer at Anfield when, inside three minutes, he provided some early breathing space after Georgi Dzhikiya pulled down Salah as he attempted to meet the Brazilian's cross.

This time there was no relenting as Liverpool turned it on in the second half, their attack showing a level of understanding and incisiveness that will make potential rivals in the last 16 take notice.

Coutinho completed a team move involving Mane, Salah and Firmino with a low left-foot finish into the corner to make it 2-0 in the 15th, and more terrible defending from Spartak led to a third goal three minutes later. We will see where this leads to, but it's a fact that English football is top quality. Firmino latched onto the loose ball and curled home a shot with the outside of his right foot. Milner delivered an inviting cross for Mane to thump home on the volley less than two minutes into the second half.

Coutinho put the hosts ahead with a fourth-minute penalty and finished a sweeping move moments later. "I could not be less interested in the other teams to be honest but I think the reason [for five English teams in the draw] is quality", Klopp said.

The Liverpool manager said the "little shadow" on the rout of the Russian champions was an injury to Alberto Moreno that could sideline the in-form left-back for several matches, beginning with the Merseyside derby against Everton on Sunday. Spartak finish in third place and dropped into the Europa League.