Mane, Salah strike in big Liverpool win

Philippe Coutinho celebrates his hat-trick goal against Spartak Moscow with Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino

Liverpool have scored 23 goals in the Champions League this season, the most by an English side in a single group campaign

Philippe Coutinho scored a hat-trick as Liverpool became the fifth English club to qualify for the last 16 of this season’s Champions League with a thumping victory over Spartak Moscow at Anfield.

Jurgen Klopp’s Group E leaders came into the game knowing they needed to avoid defeat to be sure of reaching the knockout stage for the first time since 2008-09 – and Coutinho gave them the lead with a fourth-minute penalty after Mohamed Salah was fouled by Georgi Dzhikiya.

They doubled their advantage after a superb move 11 minutes later, Coutinho tapping home from Roberto Firmino’s pass.

Firmino netted himself to make it 3-0 at half-time, and Sadio Mane’s sublime volley extended the lead.

Coutinho completed his first hat-trick for the club with a deflected shot, and Mane added the sixth before Salah completed the rout.

Liverpool’s victory means this is the first time five English teams have qualified for the Champions League last 16 in the same season.

Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham will join the Reds in Monday’s draw at Uefa headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland.

Asked if his side would be a threat in the last 16, Klopp said: “If we perform like this, if we are that clinical, then yes.

“If we perform like this then it is obviously a threat, 100%.”

Rampant Reds march on

This is a huge result for Liverpool, who failed to advance from the group stage on their previous two appearances – in 2009-10 and 2014-15.

Klopp’s side were close to qualifying last month, but Guido Pizarro poked home in the third minute of added time as Sevilla came from 3-0 down to snatch a dramatic draw.

There was no second-half collapse this time as the Reds produced another attacking masterclass to ensure they progress in Europe’s most prestigious club competition.

Spartak had held the Reds to a draw in Moscow but were blown away on Merseyside as Klopp once again unleashed Coutinho, Salah, Firmino and Mane from the start.

The quartet had scored 12 of their team’s 16 goals in five previous group games – and they were once again in ruthless mood.

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