Liverpool win Group E with Coutinho hat trick

Ross Houston
December 7, 2017

No. Within 3 minutes of the restart it was 4-0 as Mane got the goal he had been threatening in the first half.

Sadio Mane gets a recall in attack as he plays alongside Mohamed Salah, Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino.

Mane scored a thumping scissor volley seconds after half-time and Coutinho followed it by completing his hat-trick with a deflected shot.

Pressure was building on the hosts heading into the game, with the knowledge that a Spartak win would likely see Liverpool miss out on qualification had Sevilla beat UEFA Champions League Group E whipping boys Maribor.

Monday's draw promises to throw up some mouth-watering contests - Liverpool will just hope they have done enough to avoid being involved in one of them. It was also the fourth time they had scored three goals in the opening 30 minutes of their Champions League campaign.

It is also why Coutinho's value remains innumerable to Liverpool, with a direct hand in 15 goals from his last 11 appearances.

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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.

Mane pounced on a mistake by Dzhikiya, ran up the right wing and sent in a cross that Spartak defender Serdar Tasci could only block with his chest.

Promes has been impressive this season with 13 goals and eight assists in 23 games.

Serie A high-flyers Napoli dropped into the Europa League as Shakhtar Donetsk's victory over Premier League leaders Manchester City rendered their 2-1 loss at Feyenoord effectively a dead rubber.

It is the first time a country has had five representatives in the knockout stage of Europe's top club competition, signaling a revival by the English after years of underachievement since Chelsea was European champion in 2012.

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