Rangers 1 Liverpool 7: Super sub Mo Salah scores fastest-ever Champions League hat-trick with stunning SIX-MINUTE blitz

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NO MATTER how dodgy things look on the domestic front, the Champions League remains a wonderful getaway for Liverpool. 

After Roberto Firmino underlined his enduring value to Jurgen Klopp with two goals and Mo Salah eviscerated poor Rangers by arriving off the bench to grab a six-minute hat-trick, the Reds are almost certain of qualification for the knock-out stages. 

Following an opening-night mauling by Napoli, that is a decent achievement from a side which has been stuttering badly in the Premier League. 

A club who have reached ten European Cup finals, winning six of them, and which rightly regards itself as royalty in this competition, will always believe that lifting Old Big Ears is a realistic proposition. 

Klopp told his team’s supporters to book their hotels for this season’s final in Istanbul as soon as they had lost to Real Madrid in Paris in May, on a night marred by chaotic policing. 

And they are on call after prevailing in this Battle of Britain, in which one side employed heavy artillery and the other lot came armed with pop guns. 

Remarkably when you consider the final scoreline, Rangers led through their former Burnley midfielder Scott Arfield and were highly competitive for 45 minutes. 

But the second half was an embarrassment for the Scottish club and an absolute breeze for Klopp’s men. 

The fact they have won just twice in eight Premier League games yet netted six unanswered goals in the second period shows the vast gap between the leagues north and south of the border. 

But without Firmino it might have been a less comfortable night for Klopp.

Most assumed that the 31-year-old Brazilian would be off this summer after the arrival of a more authentic centre-forward in Darwin Nunez. 

But Firmino has scored eight goals in 12 matches so far – easily his best scoring rate of any season in his Anfield career – and after bagging the first two last night, he teed up Nunez for the third.

Then Salah, who had been rested until 20 minutes from time, scored a classy hat-trick and teenager Harvey Elliott netted the seventh as a once-raucous Ibrox quickly emptied.

For all Liverpool’s early-season struggles, their first encounter with Rangers at Anfield last week was far more comfortable than the 2-0 scoreline suggested – only Allan McGregor’s masterclass preventing a rout.

Perhaps that was why Klopp felt able to leave out Salah, ahead of Manchester City’s visit on Sunday. 

Most assumed that the 31-year-old Brazilian would be off this summer after the arrival of a more authentic centre-forward in Darwin Nunez. 

But Firmino has scored eight goals in 12 matches so far – easily his best scoring rate of any season in his Anfield career – and after bagging the first two last night, he teed up Nunez for the third.

Then Salah, who had been rested until 20 minutes from time, scored a classy hat-trick and teenager Harvey Elliott netted the seventh as a once-raucous Ibrox quickly emptied.

For all Liverpool’s early-season struggles, their first encounter with Rangers at Anfield last week was far more comfortable than the 2-0 scoreline suggested – only Allan McGregor’s masterclass preventing a rout.

Perhaps that was why Klopp felt able to leave out Salah, ahead of Manchester City’s visit on Sunday. 

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