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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

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Champions League seven heaven for Liverpool to send Rangers crashing out of Europe

Liverpool got back to winning ways in the Champions League thanks to the fastest hat-trick in the competitions history from Mohamed Salah.

Jurgen’s Klopp’s reds beat last season’s Europa League’s finalists Rangers 7-1 with a much-needed quality second half performance after a below par display on the weekend against Arsenal which saw them fall to another loss in the Premier League.

They yet again had to work for the victory though as the six-time European Cup winners went onto concede the first goal in the game for the eighth time this season.

Scott Arfield was slipped in on goal after Fabio Carvalho lost the ball in his own half and the former Burnley man sent Ibrox into oblivion as they had their first Champions League goal since Kenny Miller scored all the way back in 2010.

The home side had hope whilst the away side had none due to the consistent woeful starts to games this season.

Fortunately for Liverpool it did not take long for them to equalise as Roberto Firmino continued his fine goalscoring form with a near post header from a Kostas Tsimikas corner.

It was another sloppy and slow display from Liverpool in the first half, but they changed that in the second 45 minutes as ten minutes after the interval it was that man again, Firmino, who tucked the ball in the back of the net after a Joe Gomez cross.

The Brazilian was involved yet again for the third with a ludicrously cheeky touch to move the ball onto Darwin Nunez whose first-time finish finished off any hope Rangers had of getting out of group A.

Liverpool didn’t stop there though as they looked to get their confidence levels up ahead of a daunting contest against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City who are led in attack by an on-fire Erling Haaland.

So, Klopp decided to bring on Mo Salah, Diogo Jota, Thiago and Andy Robertson to freshen it up and they did just that.

Salah came on in the 68th minute and by the 81st he was taking the match ball home.

His first was a toe poke which squirmed under Allan McGregor on the 71st minute then his other two were almost identical as he cut in on his left and buried the ball in the right corner for the second and the opposite for the third.

One of the greatest cameos you are likely to see.

He got the hat-trick in a remarkable six minutes and 12 seconds whilst Jota also got a hat-trick of assists with the Portuguese international relishing his new creative role in the side.

The cherry on top game with a few minutes left as some nice build-up play down the left from Liverpool resulted in a cross falling to Harvey Elliott, who was one of the most impressive players on the pitch, and he side footed the ball in.

However, the assistant put his flag up but after a VAR check it was given and Elliott was able to celebrate his first goal in Europe.

The win all but guarantees Liverpool’s place in the knockout stages but they now have a chance to top the group as they travel to Amsterdam for a clash with Ajax and they welcome Napoli to Anfield.

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