Mohamed Salah scored the fastest-ever Champions League hat-trick as Liverpool turned it on in the second half to thrash Rangers 7-1.
As a great goalscorer, and a man who has decided the course of the big prizes, Mohamed Salah’s part in the history of English football has long since been assured – and now on this strange night of wonder for Liverpool, their No 11 has a little slice of Scottish football history too.
After half-time it was a different Liverpool playing at a pace with which Rangers could not live. Firmino scored from a fine Gomez cross and then created the third for Núñez. Salah could not miss with his three goals in six minutes. Elliott’s goal felt even crueller on Rangers but the great sides always want more.
Van Dijk: “It was great”
Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has been speaking to BT Sport: “It was great. What we expected happened with the fans behind them at the beginning – they were trying to give everything, and you have to be very composed and play the ball quick from side to side, between the lines. Get your body between the ball and the player, and play with composure. In the first half we could have done it better, but in the second half we did it much better.”
Jurgen Klopp credited Liverpool’s half-time team talk as the turning point after they obliterated Rangers 7-1 in the Champions League on Wednesday.
“We had a really positive half time talk,” Klopp said. “We conceded a goal, scored an equaliser and had really good football moments, and we wanted more of that in the second half.
Klopp had made six changes to the team that lost to Arsenal. Remarkably four of them were fitness related – the absence of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Luis Díaz and Joël Matip through injury already well trailed. Not known was the fact that Diogo Jota was not fit enough to play more than a late substitute’s role.
Klopp would say later that City are “the best team in the world”, and indeed, no-one has yet found many answers to what they represent, although Salah provided Liverpool with something tangible. It was at the very least a note of defiance that, having offered the greatest resistance to the Pep Guardiola era, this Liverpool side are not yet ready to slip beneath the waves. Before Salah’s three goals there were two from Roberto Firmino, the game’s outstanding player until the lightening of that hat-trick.
Rangers suffer their biggest ever home defeat in Europe and are eliminated from the Champions League.
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