Champions League: 5 English Teams Advance with Liverpool Rout
England became 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 has won Europe’s top competition five times, clinched Group E after Philippe Coutinho secured his first hat trick for the club.
Also qualifying for the last 16 on Wednesday were the 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 finish at the top of a group, along with Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham. Chelsea, which won the tournament in 2012, also advanced, signaling a revival by English clubs after several years of underachievement.
The field for the knockout rounds also includes Barcelona, Basel, Bayern Munich, Besiktas, Juventus, Paris Saint-Gemain, Real Madrid and Roma.
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, Mohamed Salah also scored, and Sadio Mane added two as Liverpool won by 7-0 for the second time in Group E, winning the group 3 points ahead of second-place Sevilla. Spartak finished in third place and dropped into the Europa League.
Liverpool finished the group stage with 23 goals, just two shy of Paris Saint-Germain’s record of 25 this season.
“Nobody could imagine that it would go like this tonight. It was an all or nothing game for both teams,” said Liverpool Manager Jurgen Klopp. “We opened the game perfectly and after we took the lead we didn’t have to defend. It was a nice night at Anfield.”
Sevilla qualified for the knockout phase with a 1-1 draw at Maribor.
GROUP F Shakhtar Donetsk advanced to the knockout stage with a 2-1 victory over Manchester City, ending the English club’s unbeaten record in all competitions this season.
Already guaranteed first place, City failed to become the seventh club in Champions League history to win every game in the group stage.
GROUP G Vincent Aboubakar scored twice to ensure Porto reached the knockout stage with a resounding 5-2 win against Monaco.
Both teams finished with 10 men after having players sent off late in the first half.
Turkish side Besitkas, which won by 2-1 at Leipzig, finished top of the group with 14 points. Porto had 10, and Leipzig will play in the Europa League.
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 the group 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 the Cypriot club APOEL finished with two points each. Dortmund took third place because of a better goal difference and will 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 all-time 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.