Wednesday Champions League round-up: Super seven for rampant Liverpool; Man City beaten

A scintillating display of football from Liverpool’s ‘Fab Four’ saw Jurgen Klopp’s side blaze their way into the Champions League knockout phase with a 7-0 victory over Spartak Moscow.

A first Reds hat-trick for Philippe Coutinho stole the show but the quality of all the goals – particularly Sadio Mane’s volley for the fourth – proved once again when this team click into gear they are irrepressible.

Needing only a draw to progress the Reds, who last time out blew a three-goal half-time lead to draw against Sevilla, left no room for doubt with the damage done by Coutinho (two) and Roberto Firmino inside 20 minutes.

Mane produced a superb volley and tumbling tap-in to sandwich Coutinho’s deflected shot for his treble – the first by a Liverpool player in the Champions League since Yossi Benayoun in 2007 – before top scorer Mohamed Salah scored his 18th of the season late on.

Finishing as Group E winners means avoiding the likes of Paris St Germain – the only team to outscore them in the pool stage – Barcelona and Roma.

Group rivals Sevilla also progressed after drawing 1-1 away to Maribor, where Marcos Tavares’ header was cancelled out by Sevilla’s Ganso.

Manchester City slumped to their first defeat of the season with a 2-1 loss to Shakhtar Donetsk in their final Group F game.

First-half goals from Brazilian pair Bernard and Ismaily stunned Pep Guardiola’s side on a freezing night at the Metalist Stadium in Kharkiv, with Sergio Aguero’s injury-time penalty too late to affect the outcome.

The result mattered little for City, with top place in the group already assured, but the tame end to their dazzling 20-game winning streak was hardly the ideal preparation for this weekend’s Manchester derby.

Shakhtar’s victory and Napoli’s 2-1 defeat to Feyenoord means the Ukrainians qualified in second place.

Nicolai Jorgensen headed Feyenoord level after Piotr Zielinski had volleyed Napoli into an early lead and Jerry St Juste headed the Dutch side’s winner in added time, after they had Tonny Vilhena sent off for his second bookable offence.

Fernando Llorente and Georges-Kevin Nkoudou scored their first goals for Tottenham goal as Spurs strolled into the last 16 by beating Apoel Nicosia.

Llorente had gone 16 games without hitting the net since his summer switch from Swansea but the 32-year-old scored one before setting up a second for Son Heung-min. Nkoudou completed the 3-0 rout late on.

Mauricio Pochettino’s men had secured first place in Group H regardless of this result and they now go through with a spring in their step, after collecting 16 points from a possible 18 in a pool that included Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid.

Defeat for Apoel means they finish bottom of the standings, while Dortmund take third and a spot in the Europa League.

Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player to score in every Champions League group stage match as the team from the Spanish capital beat their German rivals.

The holders were set on their way by Borja Mayoral’s first goal in the competition, set up by Ronaldo, who quickly added a second himself for his ninth in the competition this season.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struck either side of half-time to unexpectedly level things up but Vazquez’s late goal inflicted another defeat on Dortmund.

In Group G, Besiktas, who had already qualified as winners, won 2-1 in Germany against RB Leipzig thanks to Talisca’s stoppage-time winner.

Naby Keita had cancelled out Alvaro Negredo’s early penalty for the Turkish side, while Leipzig midfielder Stefan Ilsanker was dismissed in the 82nd minute for his second yellow card.

Porto secured the win they needed to book the second qualifying spot by beating Monaco 5-2.

Vincent Aboubakar’s first-half double and Yacine Brahimi gave Porto a 3-0 half-time lead before Kamil Glik pulled one back for Monaco from the penalty spot.

Nicolao Alex Telles struck the home side’s fourth and Tiquinho headed a late fifth after Radamel Falcao had made it 4-2.

Both sides were reduced to 10 men before half-time when Porto defender Felipe was dismissed for his foul on Monaco midfielder Rachid Ghezzal, who was also shown a straight red card for retaliating.

 

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