Warning for Reds - players told to stay focused after Euro seven-goal flurry

Jurgen Klopp urged his Liverpool players not to succumb to the hype generated by their own scintillating performances after they crushed Spartak Moscow to reach the Champions League knockout rounds.



Friday, December 08, 2017

Jurgen Klopp urged his Liverpool players not to succumb to the hype generated by their own scintillating performances after they crushed Spartak Moscow to reach the Champions League knockout rounds.

Liverpool's 'Fab Four' shone in a 7-0 trouncing of Spartak at Anfield, with Philippe Coutinho scoring a hat-trick, Sadio Mane claiming a double and both Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah finding the net.

But having seen his team crash 4-1 at Tottenham in the English Premier League soon after thrashing Maribor 7-0 earlier in the group phase, Klopp is desperate for his men not to ease up ahead of Sunday's derby clash with Everton.

"We showed that we learned from the mistake we made in Seville," Klopp said, referring to Liverpool's 3-3 draw against Sevilla on their previous Group E outing, when they had squandered a 3-0 lead.

"Now we have to show that we learned from the mistake we made after Maribor when we faced Tottenham. We will be ready again on Sunday and if the crowd are ready to help us, it would be nice again."

A brace from Coutinho - the first a penalty - and an opportunistic Firmino strike put Liverpool 3-0 up inside 18 minutes. Mane and Coutinho then struck in quick succession after half-time, the latter completing his first Liverpool hat-trick, before further goals from Mane and Salah took the team's goal tally to 32 in nine matches.

Klopp could not disguise the extent to which he had enjoyed watching his team score "fantastic goals, unbelievably nice goals," but there was also a note of caution."We should not think it will be like this from now on until the end of our entire lives," he said.

Emre Can received a booking that rules him out of the first leg of Liverpool's last-16 tie while an injury forced left-back Alberto Moreno to limp off in tears.

As group winners, Liverpool should theoretically receive a kinder draw in the last 16, but with Bayern Munich, Juventus and Real Madrid among their potential opponents, Klopp does not expect any favors. "It's really strange this year," said the German after Liverpool ended a nine-year wait to reach the knockout phase."I don't think you can often face Bayern Munich and Real Madrid and Juventus in the last 16 if you win the group. That's quite interesting ... But we will be ready, that's for sure."

Sevilla, Shakhtar Donetsk and Porto also qualified for the last 16 on a night when Cristiano Ronaldo set a goals record with his ninth in the competition this season in Real Madrid's 3-2 win at home to Borussia Dortmund Ronaldo became the first player to score in all six group-stage matches in a season while also equalling Lionel Messi's record of 60 group-stage goals in total.

Ukrainian giants Shakhtar advanced from Group F after beating Manchester City 2-1 in Kharkiv.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE