Mohamed Salah came off the bench to score the quickest hat-trick in Champions League history as Liverpool hammered Rangers at Ibrox on what was a record breaking night for the Egyptian.
Mohamed Salah made Champions League history with his quick fire hat-trick at Ibrox.
Liverpool hit seven past Rangers, with four of those coming in the final 15 minutes, as the Egyptian excelled having begun the night on the bench. Salah was introduced after 68 minutes and scored the first of his three goals after 75 minutes.
Six minutes and 12 seconds later and the Liverpool forward had added two more to complete the quickest hat-trick in the Champions League era. Prior to his effort that record belonged to Bafétimbi Gomis, who scored three in eight minutes for Lyon as they beat Dinamo Zagreb in 2011.
Diogo Jota played a key role in Salah’s record-setting night, assisting all three of his teammate’s goals. That has not happened in a decade, dating back to Franck Ribery’s efforts in laying off Mario Gomez to score three for Bayern Munich against Basel in March 2012.
Salah had copped criticism for what was, by his own high standards, a slow start to the season. His struggles had echoed those experienced by his side, but his season total went from five to eight as he helped Liverpool all but qualify for the knockout stages despite their domestic difficulties.
The 30-year-old’s three strikes also mean he has now scored 38 times for Liverpool in the Champions League. That is the highest total for an English club, eclipsing the likes of Wayne Rooney and Raheem Sterling, who previously scored an 11 minute hat-trick for Manchester City.
Jurgen Klopp chose to start with Roberto Firmino, Darwin Nunez and Fabio Carvalho in attack. That left Salah and Jota on the bench, before they both introduced in the second-half. Salah’s effort are timely with City, who are yet to lose this term, visiting Anfield on Sunday.
“(He played a) different position, a bit more inside, but of course he is an outstanding player as we all know and today he showed it,” Klopp told BT Sport after Salah’s historic cameo. The Liverpool boss went on to add: “This had nothing to do with the City game but of course it is better to get some confidence and some flow but we know have to prove consistently. I don’t have to say it all the time, but I get asked all the time.”
Virgil van Dijk also added on the win: “It’s not a bad thing winning 7-1 here. From the outside everyone expected us to win but we take it a game at a time. We know we’re in a tough period.” Liverpool’s two remaining European games see them head Amsterdam to take on Ajax before hosting Napoli, who have a perfect record so far in this season’s competition and hit four past the Reds in September.