Mohamed Salah scored a hat-trick, Roberto Firmino bagged a brace, and Darwin Nunez and Harvey Elliott each scored a goal to guide the Reds to a comfortable comeback win. Scott Arfield scored Gers’ only goal in the Champions League gameweek four encounter.
Without a win in their last three Premier League games, the Merseysiders were slow to get off the block against Rangers. The home team made the most of the visitors’ sluggishness in the 17th minute, with Arfield dispatching a stunning strike to beat Liverpool keeper Alisson. Their joy, however, was short-lived, with Firmino stepping up to score the Reds’ equalizer only seven minutes later.
Ten minutes into the second half, the Brazilian completed the comeback with a composed finish, giving the Merseysiders total control of the game. The second goal practically took the wind out of Rangers’ sails, as they failed to even put up a fight against the Reds’ onslaught. Firmino turned provider for new signing Nunez’s 66th-minute goal, with the Uruguayan finding the bottom corner of Allan McGregor’s goal with a low shot.
Substitute Salah turned on the charm in the final 15 minutes of the game, scoring a stunning hat-trick in just six minutes and 12 seconds. Elliott, who enjoyed a rare start for the Anfield outfit on Wednesday, scored Liverpool’s final goal of the match, sealing one of his team’s biggest wins in the Champions League.
It was a dominating display by the Reds; one filled with plenty of memorable performances. Here are five players that stood out in their commanding victory over the Scottish side on Wednesday:
#5 Ibrahima Konate
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Starting his first match for Liverpool in the 2022-23 season, Ibrahima Konate emerged as the Reds’ standout defender at Ibrox. He was confident on the ball, used his physicality to harrow Rangers attackers off the ball, and cleared threatening deliveries without hesitation.
On Champions League matchday four, Konate made four clearances, blocked two shots, won six of seven aerial duels, and won a tackle.
Considering how well he has performed in Scotland, he should be a shoo-in for Sunday’s (October 16) clash against Manchester City.
#4 Harvey Elliott
Liverpool academy graduate Harvey Elliott enjoyed an excellent outing at Ibrox, scoring once and helping his team remain in control in the middle of the park.
In the 87th minute, McGregor lunged in to clear Salah’s cross for Jota. It bounced up for Elliott, who turned it in. The flag initially went up for offside but VAR adjudged the goal to be fair. The strike marked Elliott’s first European goal of his professional senior career.
On Wednesday night, Elliott also played a key pass, won five duels, completed two dribbles, and made two clearances.
#3 Diogo Jota
Coming off the bench in the 73rd minute, Diogo Jota produced a stunning performance, assisting all three of Salah’s goals. His first one, in the 75th minute, might have been unintentional, with Elliott’s ball taking a deflection off of him to land in Salah’s path. The other two assists certainly were not coincidences.
In the 80th minute, Jota produced a neat flick, giving the Egyptian space to shoot and score. The following minute, he expertly brought down a high ball before finding Salah on the right side, who took care of the rest.
In addition to providing three assists, Jota made a whopping four key passes, won both aerial duels, and completed all seven of his attempted passes.
#2 Roberto Firmino
Brazilian center-forward Roberto Firmino extended his purple patch with another memorable performance on Wednesday, scoring twice and claiming an assist.
Firmino scored his first goal in the 24th minute, heading home Konstantinos Tsimikas’ excellent corner kick delivery. Ten minutes into the second half, Firmino gave Liverpool the lead, this time tucking the ball between McGregor’s legs from Joe Gomez’s fine low cross. Having scored a brace, Firmino produced an excellent flick to set up Nunez for Liverpool’s third in the 66th minute.
Against Rangers, Firmino also made three key passes, won six of eight duels, and accurately delivered a long ball before being subbed out for Jota.
#1 Mohamed Salah
Three-time Premier League Golden Boot winner Mohamed Salah scored a record six-minute Champions League hat-trick against Rangers on Wednesday night. Coming off the bench in the 68th minute, Salah bagged his first goal in the 75th minute, finding the back of the net from a tight angle.
Five minutes later, Salah doubled his tally, comfortably finding his way past McGregor despite being under pressure from several Rangers defenders. Two minutes after securing his brace, Salah scored the fastest hat trick in Champions League history, curling the ball past an unmoved McGregor.
His stunning cameo against Rangers is bound to give his confidence a healthy boost ahead of Sunday’s highly-anticipated Premier League clash against City.