Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes his team's performance against Spartak on Wednesday sends a message to the rest of the UEFA Champions League clubs.
The Reds thrashed the Russian outfit 7-0 at Anfield, thanks to a hat-trick from Philippe Coutinho, a brace from Sadio Mane and a goal each from Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah.
The victory saw Liverpool finish first in Group E – ahead of Sevilla – and Klopp believes the performance may have struck some fear into their potential last-16 opponents.
"They make it easier for me!"
Sadio Mane offers an insight into what it's like to play in this team… pic.twitter.com/f9hb6BUPPo
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 6, 2017
“If we perform like this, if we are that clinical, then yes we can [strike fear into opponents],” said Klopp, according to The Guardian.
“But we had the same players before and they didn’t score and then it is not that we talk like this. That is not a criticism of the past. If we perform like this then we are a threat, 100%. And if you see how Dom Solanke performed at Stoke, how Daniel Sturridge performed when he came on tonight – he could have scored two or three and he made a goal for Sadio – that’s good.
“We knew if we won we would top the group so that’s not the biggest surprise but I think it’s strange this year in the group stages. There are a lot of really strong teams in second place.
"Obviously all the teams in the last 16 are strong but this year is quite special. It’s not often you can face Bayern Munich, Real Madrid or Juve if you win your group.
"Antonio Conte said it yesterday – there are no easy opponents and I don’t think anyone is happy when they get us in the draw. We will not be happy when we see who we face in the next round, but we will be ready.”