As we closed the book on the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League group stage, 33 goals were scored in part two of Matchday Six, a night that didn’t want for excitement.
Seven of those 33 came at Anfield, where Liverpool, needing just a point to guarantee qualification, went ahead after three minutes against Spartak Moscow thanks to a Philippe Coutinho penalty. Coutinho would another soon, finishing off another delightful Liverpool counter, before goals from Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane ensured the Reds went into the break four goals up. Mane would add his second in the second half, while Coutinho completed his hatrick with the aid of a deflection, before Mohammed Salah got in on the act. Yes, seven goals were scored at Anfield, all of which belonged to the hosts. It was the most humiliating way for Spartak to crash down to the Europa League.
Another team doing a fair bit of crashing are Napoli, who needed a miracle prior to this Matchday to stand a chance of going through. Needing to beat Feyenoord and Manchester City to win at Shakhtar, the Partenopei did get off to a flyer with Piotr Zielinski giving them the lead after two minutes. But whatever joy they had would soon turn into anguish as at the other game, Shakhtar ended the first half with a two-goal against City, before they themselves conceded, Nicolai Jorgensen pulling Feyenoord. City did pull one back in stoppage time, but it counted for little, and to rub salt on Napoli’s wounds, Jeremiah St. Juste would snatch a late winner for Feyenoord. That defeat for City is their first of the season, but the greater agony lies with Napoli, who also make their way to the Europa League.
Elsewhere, Real Madrid created and blew away a two-goal lead, before snatching a winning goal against Dortmund in Group H, a game where Cristiano Ronaldo set a record of scoring in every group game of a Champions League season.
Leipzig saw their hopes of qualification fade with a defeat at home to Besiktas, although victory would have mattered little as Porto thrashed Monaco 5-2; Tottenham closed out their Group H campaign with a 3-0 win over APOEL to make sure they’re the side with the highest points in the group phase this term (16); while Sevilla’s draw at Maribor was enough for the Rojilblancos to go through.
Liverpool 7-0 Spartak Moscow
Maribor 1-1 Sevilla
Tottenham 3-0 APOEL
Real Madrid 3-2 Dortmund
Shakhtar Donetsk 2-1 Manchester City
Feyenoord 2-1 Napoli
Porto 5-2 Monaco
RB Leipzig 1-2 Besiktas