Liverpool 7, Spartak Moscow 0: Man of the Match

Liverpool 7, Spartak Moscow 0: Man of the Match

Should Liverpool book their place in the knockout stage, it will be the first time they have reached the last-16 of Europe's premier cup competition since 2008-09.

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.

There are some notable teams among those to have finished second in their group in this Champions League phase, with Real Madrid and Juventus in the pack Liverpool could face in Monday's last-16 draw. 1-0 up within a minute courtesy of a Phillipe Coutinho penalty and 3-0 to the good before the clock had hit 20 minutes, the Reds romped to an absolute annihilation of Spartak, who truly disappointed on their visit to Anfield. It was a goal Liverpool fans will have dreamed of on seeing these four players in the same eleven, and the move saw them put a foot firmly in the knockout stages.

Milner, on as a substitute, crossed from the left for Mane to meet with a fierce volley past goalkeeper Aleksandr Selikhov in the 47th. Sadio Mane bagged a brace, while Roberto Firmino and Mohamad Salah snagged one apiece.

Imbalance, however, remains Liverpool's greatest weakness. Salah's delicate touch slid him in, but the Senegal global could only blaze over the bar from 15 yards out. Hitting thumbs down is a vote to push that player closer to the bottom.

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

As the 50th minute arrived on the scoreboard so did the 5th goal.

Dining at European football's top table again has always been Liverpool's raison d'etre - and now, they can finally pull up a chair. Daniel Sturridge was introduced, and quickly provided the assist for Mane who stabbed home the square to make it six for Liverpool.

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.

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