LIVERPOOL 7-0 Spartak Moscow
Liverpool have just achieved their second 7 goal victory over a team in the Champions League, within the same season. The first time Liverpool won against Maribor 0-7, which had been an all-time club record for an away fixture. Never been done before outside of Anfield. Although Liverpool have previously won 8-0 at Anfield in a European competition before, against Besiktas in a Champions League fixture from 2007 – the season that we reached the Champions League Final but were defeated by AC Milan, their revenge for defeating them in the 2005 final in Istanbul. Now we’ve beaten Spartak Moscow 7-0 but we’re still breaking records, here! The club hasn’t seen two 7 goal victories in the same season, let alone the same Champions League Group before.
Jurgen Klopp surprised the fans by making Coutinho Liverpool’s captain for this fixture. With Mignolet, Milner and Henderson all on the substitute bench it was necessary to pick a not so familiar captain from the starting 11 Klopp had lined up. In terms of experience, Coutinho was the “veteran” to choose for leading the team with almost 150 appearances for Liverpool. Many of the others are unable to match that record, with some players still in their first season for the club.
Liverpool started to dominate incredibly fast, with only 4 minutes going by before Spartak Moscow conceded a penalty kick at Anfield. Coutinho would take and coolly score from 12 yards with no problem.
Liverpool 1-0 Spartak Moscow.
11 minutes later, Coutinho was on target once more to score his and Liverpool’s second goal.
Liverpool 2-0 Spartak Moscow
By the 19th minute, Firmino wanted to join his Brazilian teammate in scoring for Liverpool.
Mané has a lot of options available to him. He flicks a ball into Salah in the middle. Tasci makes a mistake as he tries to clear the ball only for it to end up with Firmino about seven yards away from goal. He smashes it into the top corner of the net.
Liverpool 3-0 Spartak Moscow
Half time could not come soon enough for the Russians, in under 20 minutes they’d suffered a 3 goal lead being taken against them. They were lucky not to have 3 more scored by Liverpool in the next 25 minutes to follow. Jurgen Klopp would be forced to remove Alberto Moreno from the team due to injury and James Milner replaced him. Other than that, it was much the same in the second half and Liverpool were ready for goals from the referee’s whistle again.
Milner played a big part in the build up for the 4th goal around the 47th minute. He would float over a cross that was perfectly placed for Sadio Mané to connect with it in the air, it didn’t even touch the ground before the shot was taken and the ball was in the net. Accurate assistance from Milner and accurate shooting from Mané. I doubt those two practice what happened on the training ground together – It seemed very spontaneous but it was very well worked during the real game itself.
Liverpool 4-0 Spartak Moscow
3 minutes later, Liverpool were ready for another goal. This time, the ball had reached Coutinho and he looked determined to score in this half, too. Running wild in possession of the ball, he’d make his way past defenders and towards the goalkeeper, for his chance to shoot and get his hat trick.
Liverpool 5-0 Spartak Moscow
3 magic goals from the Magician, who before kick off seemed to be out of his depth as captain although Coutinho had proven wrong anyone who’d said that from the 4th minute onwards. A welcome surprise for sure, for anybody who tires of seeing Henderson or Milner as captain most regularly and wishes for another player to take the captain’s armband.
There was still 40 minutes left and Liverpool had a 5 goal lead. In the 1st half, it was reasonable to still not get carried away with 3 goals as teams like Sevilla had been known to draw level and finish the game 3-3 eventually. This would not happen for Moscow though, they’d only keep on conceding 4 goals and more instead of making a comeback. The confidence that we’d be winning and topping the group table was with us from the 47th minute.
The 72nd minute saw Liverpool change the side once more. Roberto Firmino got a round of applause from the whole of Anfield and Jurgen Klopp hugged him in appreciation as it was his turn to make way for Daniel Sturridge. Sturridge had a fast impact on the game, creating an assist for the 6th goal of the evening with 5 minutes of being on the pitch. A moment of counter attacking from Sturridge as Liverpool took the ball from Spartak Moscow saw a Sturridge cross find Sadio Mané who was just in the right place at the right time to make it Liverpool 6-0 Spartak Moscow.
Sturridge could have shot himself but unselfishly thought of his teammate who was nearby and in a great position to shoot and score. He may not have gotten his name on the scoresheet but Sturridge deserves a lot of praise for his hard work that helped Liverpool claim a goal. Much love for you too, Daniel.
In the 81st minute, Sturridge also deserved to have been given a penalty. The Spartak Moscow goalkeeper had faced Sturridge directly as he’d approached the goal for a shot, only to come out and roughly bring Sturridge down to the ground. I think the referee probably took into consideration that Liverpool were already leading by 6 goals in making his decision over whether to award us a penalty which was certain to bring another goal. It was a foul in my opinion, but no penalty given. Though one more goal wouldn’t make the difference between losing (or drawing) and winning. We would have won 6-0 anyway. As it happens though, we would score a 7th goal.
Five minutes later, Salah and Milner were working nicely together on the left, with the ball being kept well away from Spartak Moscow. Then Liverpool continue to press further forwards and Sturridge found Salah about eight yards away from goal. He plays some clever football, doing a dummy which sees the defender tackling the air instead of the player, he wouldn’t get the ball. Salah then has the space and time to use his right foot to smash a powerful yet accurately placed shot into the top corner of the net.
Liverpool 7-0 Spartak Moscow
This victory sees Liverpool top Champions League Group E. Sevilla were claiming a point against Maribor as Spartak Moscow lost to us, so the Spanish side qualify in the 2nd place ahead of the Russians. The Last 16 draw is still to be made but Liverpool will now go on to face one of 6 potential teams that also qualified out of their groups.
Man Of the Match
WHO ELSE? Coutinho scored three times (more than any other player on the night) and gave a good example of why he was chosen to be the Liverpool captain, other than number of appearances. He was dangerous going forward and converted the chances he was given, to claim a hat trick for himself. Barcelona have realised his strengths but even if the player wants to leave we’ll never accept their offers to sign him. He’s staying and he’s got a lot to look forward to now with Liverpool including the knockout rounds of the Champions League. That’s worth sticking around for!
Liverpool V Everton December 10th, 14:15 kickoff @ Anfield
Some exciting Premier League action coming up as Liverpool prepare to face Everton in a “Merseyside Derby” that never disappoints. It was also recently announced that Everton are due to face Liverpool in the 3rd round of the FA Cup, in addition to this fixture between the two sides this season.
I hope you’re as excited for Liverpool’s coming games as I am. Walk on with hope in your hearts, Anfield Family. You’ll Never Walk Alone.
[written by] Stuart Drewery.
I’m an Englishman (born and raised in Liverpool in the 80s). My whole family including my parents and grandparents were Liverpool fans so I was born into being a red.
I’ve seen Liverpool win the league (more than 25 years ago) and I’ve been 100% loyal and committed while supporting the Reds through all the good times AND the bad times since the 80s