Coutinho hat-trick as Liver­pool rout Spa ak

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - Sport -

ENG­LAND has be­come the first coun­try to have five teams in the knock­out stage of the Cham­pi­ons League af­ter Liver­pool com­pleted a sweep for Premier League clubs with a 7-0 thrash­ing of Spar­tak Moscow on Wed­nes­day.

Liver­pool, which won Europe’s top com­pe­ti­tion five times, clinched Group E af­ter Philippe Coutinho se­cured his first hat-trick for the club.

Liver­pool was joined in the last 16 by for­mer cham­pion Porto, Sevilla and Shakhtar Donetsk. Napoli lost 2-1 at Feyeno­ord and failed to qual­ify.

Liver­pool was one of four English teams to top a group, along with Manch­ester City, Manch­ester United and Tot­ten­ham. Chelsea com­pleted the sweep, sig­nalling a re­vival by English clubs af­ter years of un­der­achieve­ment since the west Lon­don club was Euro­pean cham­pion in 2012.

Here is a look at what hap­pened on Wed­nes­day:

GROUP E

Need­ing only a draw to qual­ify, it was all too easy for Liver­pool at An­field, where Coutinho led Liver­pool’s dis­man­tling of Spar­tak with two goals in the open­ing 15 min­utes be­fore com­plet­ing his first hat trick for the Reds in the 50th.

Roberto Firmino, Sa­dio Mane (2) and Mo­hamed Salah scored the other goals as Liver­pool won 7-0 for the sec­ond time in Group E and topped it by three points from sec­ond-place Sevilla. Spar­tak fin­ished in third place and dropped into the Europa League.

Liver­pool fin­ished the group stage with 23 goals, just two goals shy of Paris Saint-ger­main’s record of 25 this sea­son.

Sevilla qual­i­fied for the knock­out phase with a 1-1 draw at Mari­bor. In freez­ing tem­per­a­tures, the Span­ish side started poorly but re­cov­ered af­ter the in­ter­val and equalised through Ganso to clinch the run­nerup spot.

GROUP G

Vin­cent Aboubakar scored twice to en­sure Porto reached the knock­out stage with a re­sound­ing 5-2 win against a poor Monaco side.

Both teams fin­ished with 10 men af­ter hav­ing a player sent off late in the first half.

Turk­ish side Be­sitkas, which won 2-1 away to Leipzig, fin­ished top of Group G with 14 points. Porto has 10 and Leipzig will play in the Europa League.

Monaco reached the semi­fi­nals of the com­pe­ti­tion last sea­son by play­ing some scin­til­lat­ing at­tack­ing foot­ball. But it has been a very dif­fer­ent story this sea­son for the French cham­pion and coach Leonardo Jardim’s side was al­ready guar­an­teed to fin­ish last.

GROUP H

Cris­tiano Ron­aldo be­came the first player to score in all six group-stage matches of the Cham­pi­ons League as Real Madrid beat Borus­sia Dort­mund 3-2.

Madrid had al­ready guar­an­teed sec­ond place be­hind Group H win­ner Tot­ten­ham, which de­feated APOEL 3-0 at Wem­b­ley Sta­dium to reach 16 points and fin­ish with more points than any other team in the group stage.

Madrid ended with 13 points, and Dort­mund and Cypriot club APOEL fin­ished with two points each. The Ger­man club took third place be­cause of a bet­ter goal dif­fer­ence and will now play in the Europa League.

Madrid led 2-0 af­ter Borja May­oral opened the scor­ing and Ron­aldo, the all-time lead­ing scorer in the Cham­pi­ons League with 115 goals, net­ted his ninth in the com­pe­ti­tion this sea­son. The strike also drew him level with Lionel Messi on 60 all­time goals in the group stage.

Dort­mund equal­ized with two goals by Pierre-em­er­ick Aubameyang, one in each half, but Lu­cas Vazquez got the win­ner in the 81st minute at the San­ti­ago Bern­abeu Sta­dium. – AP

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