Champions League

Coutinho’s hat-trick propels Liverpool into Champions League round of 16, thrash Spartak 7-0

Sadio Mane scored twice and Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah also netted a goal each as the Reds became the fifth English team progress past the group stage.

Philippe Coutinho’s first Liverpool hat-trick propelled Jurgen Klopp’s side to a 7-0 thrashing of Spartak Moscow on Wednesday that swept the Merseyside club into the Champions League last 16.

Sadio Mane scored twice and Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah both found the net as Liverpool’s ‘Fab Four’ emphatically returned the five-time champions to the knockout rounds after a nine-year absence.

Group E winners Liverpool joined Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur in progressing from the group phase, making England the first country to send five teams into the round of 16.

“We opened the game perfectly and after we took the lead, we didn’t have to defend,” Klopp told BT Sport.

“It’s really difficult when we go to the next gear and use the space. It was nice to watch tonight.” It was Liverpool’s second hefty group-stage win after a 7-0 rout of Maribor and erased memories of their previous outing in the competition, when they squandered a 3-0 lead to draw 3-3 away to runners-up Sevilla.

With Liverpool having plundered 32 goals in their last nine games, few teams will relish the prospect of facing off against Coutinho, Salah, Mane and Firmino in the last 16, the draw for which takes place on Monday.

“I don’t mind too much who we get,” Klopp added. “Usually I always get Real Madrid, so we will see.”

Klopp will have to do without Emre Can for the first leg of the last 16 tie, after the midfielder was booked against Spartak, and victory also came at the cost of an injury to left-back Alberto Moreno.

But those were the only bum notes on an evening when a Liverpool team showing five changes from Saturday’s 5-1 romp at Brighton and Hove Albion found themselves 3-0 up inside 18 minutes.

Coutinho sparked things off in the fourth minute, the Brazilian rolling a penalty into the bottom-right corner after Georgi Dzhikiya had barged into Salah as they waited for Coutinho’s deep cross to reach them.

Liverpool’s second goal, in the 15th minute, was a delight that showcased the ‘Fab Four’ at their clinical best.

Milner impact

From Mane’s pass, Salah sent the ball out to Firmino on the right and his selfless square ball allowed Coutinho to tuck away his 50th goal in Liverpool colours.

Spartak’s defending was as desperate as Liverpool’s attacking was dazzling and a clumsy touch by Serdar Tasci opened the door to a third goal.

Unable to react quickly enough to Mane’s cross, the German centre-back inadvertently presented the ball on a plate to Firmino, who used the outside of his right foot to steer a shot past Aleksandr Selikhov.

It was not all plain sailing for Klopp’s men, however.

Can picked up a seventh-minute booking that triggered a one-game ban for sliding in on Ze Luis and Moreno hobbled off just before half-time after jarring his knee as he blocked a shot from Roman Zobnin.

James Milner took Moreno’s place and made an immediate impact in the second half, swinging over a cross in the 47th minute that was brilliantly volleyed home by Mane at the back post.

Three minutes later Coutinho added a fifth, charging onto Milner’s pass and dispatching a shot that found its way past Selikhov via a deflection off Salvatore Bocchetti.

Mane made it 6-0 with 14 minutes remaining, hooking in a low cross from substitute Daniel Sturridge before Salah completed a resounding win with a sublime turn followed by a right-foot finish into the top-right corner.

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Changing the conversation around mental health in rural India

Insights that emerged from discussions around mental health at a village this World Mental Health Day.

Questioning is the art of learning. For an illness as debilitating as depression, asking the right questions is an important step in social acceptance and understanding. How do I open-up about my depression to my parents? Can meditation be counted as a treatment for depression? Should heartbreak be considered as a trigger for deep depression? These were some of the questions addressed by a panel consisting of the trustees and the founder of The Live Love Lough Foundation (TLLLF), a platform that seeks to champion the cause of mental health. The panel discussion was a part of an event organised by TLLLF to commemorate World Mental Health Day.

According to a National Mental Health Survey of India 2015-16, conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), common mental disorders including depression, anxiety disorders and substance use disorders affect nearly 10% of the population, with 1 in 20 people in India suffering from depression. The survey reported a huge treatment gap, a problem that is spread far and wide across urban and rural parts of the country.

On 10th of October, trustees of the foundation, Anna Chandy, Dr. Shyam Bhat and Nina Nair, along with its founder, Deepika Padukone, made a visit to a community health project centre in Devangere, Karnataka. The project, started by The Association of People with Disability (APD) in 2010, got a much-needed boost after partnering with TLLLF 2 years ago, helping them reach 819 people suffering from mental illnesses and spreading its program to 6 Taluks, making a difference at a larger scale.

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During the visit, the TLLLF team met patients and their families to gain insights into the program’s effectiveness and impact. Basavaraja, a beneficiary of the program, spoke about the issues he faced because of his illness. He shared how people used to call him mad and would threaten to beat him up. Other patients expressed their difficulty in getting access to medical aid for which they had to travel to the next biggest city, Shivmoga which is about 2 hours away from Davangere. A marked difference from when TLLLF joined the project two years ago was the level of openness and awareness present amongst the villagers. Individuals and families were more expressive about their issues and challenges leading to a more evolved and helpful conversation.

The process of de-stigmatizing mental illnesses in a community and providing treatment to those who are suffering requires a strong nexus of partners to make progress in a holistic manner. Initially, getting different stakeholders together was difficult because of the lack of awareness and resources in the field of mental healthcare. But the project found its footing once it established a network of support from NIMHANS doctors who treated the patients at health camps, Primary Healthcare Centre doctors and the ASHA workers. On their visit, the TLLLF team along with APD and the project partners discussed the impact that was made by the program. Were beneficiaries able to access the free psychiatric drugs? Did the program help in reducing the distance patients had to travel to get treatment? During these discussions, the TLLLF team observed that even amongst the partners, there was an increased sense of support and responsiveness towards mental health aid.

The next leg of the visit took the TLLLF team to the village of Bilichodu where they met a support group that included 15 patients and caregivers. Ujjala Padukone, Deepika Padukone’s mother, being a caregiver herself, was also present in the discussion to share her experiences with the group and encouraged others to share their stories and concerns about their family members. While the discussion revolved around the importance of opening up and seeking help, the team brought about a forward-looking attitude within the group by discussing future possibilities in employment and livelihood options available for the patients.

As the TLLLF team honoured World Mental Health day, 2017 by visiting families, engaging with support groups and reviewing the successes and the challenges in rural mental healthcare, they noticed how the conversation, that was once difficult to start, now had characteristics of support, openness and a positive outlook towards the future. To continue this momentum, the organisation charted out the next steps that will further enrich the dialogue surrounding mental health, in both urban and rural areas. The steps include increasing research on mental health, enhancing the role of social media to drive awareness and decrease stigma and expanding their current programs. To know more, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of The Live Love Laugh Foundation and not by the Scroll editorial team.