Match Report: Rangers 1-7 Liverpool: Salah’s record hat-trick helps Reds take giant stride towards last 16

Mohamed Salah scored the quickest hat-trick in Champions League history as Liverpool thumped Rangers 7-1 to put one foot in the last 16.

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates during his side's emphatic win over Rangers

It started badly for Jurgen Klopp’s side at Ibrox when Scott Arfield scored his first Champions League goal with a crisp finish past Alisson from outside the penalty area.

Liverpool pulled level soon after, though, when Firmino headed home a corner from close range, before the Brazilian and Darwin Nunez put the Reds 3-1 up.

That set the stage for Salah to come off the substitutes’ bench and complete a hat-trick in just six minutes and 12 seconds to leave Liverpool, who added a seventh late on through Harvey Elliott, needing just a point from their final two games against Ajax and Napoli to progress to the knockout stages.

Rangers were rewarded for a fine start when Arfield ran onto Ryan Jack’s pass and fired a low strike into Alisson’s bottom-right corner from 20 yards.

Liverpool pulled level with their first attempt on target just seven minutes later, though, as Firmino glanced Kostas Tsimikas’ corner home from inside the six-yard box.

The Reds were much brighter after the break and moved ahead in the 55th minute when Firmino met Joe Gomez’s sumptuous cross with a low finish that went through Allan McGregor’s legs.

Firmino turned provider for the visitors’ third after 66 minutes, flicking into the path of Nunez, who curled around McGregor from 18 yards for his first Champions League goal in Liverpool colours.

Salah then grabbed his first with a finish from a tight angle in the 75th minute, before clipping past an exposed McGregor five minutes later.

He then etched his name into the record books with a wonderful third moments later, while Elliott put the visitors into seventh heaven three minutes from full-time.

What does it mean? Rampant Reds pile on misery for Rangers

A clinical display from Liverpool, who scored with seven of their nine shots on target, means a point away at Ajax in a fortnight will seal their place in the last 16.

Rangers, meanwhile, are left to a rue a fourth consecutive defeat in this season’s competition. They sit rock bottom of Group A, three points adrift of Ajax, who were beaten 4-2 by Napoli earlier on Wednesday.

Historic Salah

Salah has been under intense scrutiny this season, but the talismanic forward responded to his critics in style here. His blistering hat-trick comfortably beat the previous record of eight minutes and 45 seconds, which was set by Bafetimbi Gomis for Lyon in December 2011.

Fantastic Firmino

Salah will dominate the headlines, but it was Firmino who hauled Liverpool back into the game. His brace took his tally for the season to eight, while his pass for Nunez’s goal took him to 12 assists in the Champions League – a total not bettered by any Liverpool player.

What’s next?

Both sides are in domestic action on Sunday, with Liverpool at home to Manchester City and Rangers away at Motherwell.

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