The score was almost doubled a minute later thanks to a classic counter-press, as Salah fed Roberto Firmino with a lovely back-heel, but the Brazilian's dangerous cross was cleared.
An overjoyed Shakhtar Donetsk manager Paulo Fonseca fulfilled his promise to dress up as fictional character Zorro after leading his side into the Champions League knockout stages with a 2-1 win over Premier League club Manchester City on Wednesday.
Murphy added that he believes Coutinho will leave, providing Liverpool get encouragement regarding their own transfer targets, which are more difficult to acquire in the mid-season window.
Although Spartak did try to pin Liverpool back, they left spaces in behind and were punished again this time by Firmino, who slammed home from close range after some suspect defending. Sam Allardyce's organisational skills will have to be faultless to emerge from Sunday's Merseyside derby unscathed.
It started just four minutes in as Mohamed Salah was brought down in the area for a penalty.
The fact that he was handed the armband by coach Juergen Klopp is a sign of the reconciliation between the two parties, even though speculation continues about a renewed bid by Barcelona in January.
But the plaudits here go to Klopp's attack, and to Coutinho in particular. James Milner, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Sturridge were summoned, but not their de-facto on-pitch leader.
It didn't take long for Anfield to warm up, and given the team Klopp selected there was always going to be action.
"Their defence was never really tested but I still think they are potential winners of this tournament", Duff said.
With nothing to play for in the final group game, Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane rested some regular starters, including Karim Benzema, Luka Modric and Marcelo.
Liverpool went into the break with a 3-0 lead and Sadio Mane hit the hosts' fourth two minutes after the restart, with his sublime volley the pick of Liverpool's seven goals.
With Liverpool in full control, the game was well beyond the reach of Spartak.
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