December 6, 2017 / 9:39 PM / a year ago

Soccer-Coutinho hits hat-trick as Liverpool rout Spartak, top group

LIVERPOOL, England, Dec 6 (Reuters) - Brazilian Philippe Coutinho struck a hat-trick as Liverpool crushed Spartak Moscow 7-0 to move into the knockout stages of the Champions League as Group E winners.

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp fielded an attacking line-up and it was too much for the Russians to handle with a fourth- minute Coutinho penalty, a tap-in from the Brazilian and a close-range Roberto Firmino effort making it 3-0 inside 18 minutes.

Sadio Mane’s blistering volley two minutes after the break made it 4-0 and a deflected shot from Coutinho completed his hat-trick.

Mane scooped in a low cross from Georginio Wijnaldum in the 76th minute and the outstanding Mohamed Salah made it 7-0 as the Reds condemned Spartak to third place in the group and a spot in the Europa League.

Reporting by Simon Evans, editing by Ed Osmond

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