Football News

Firmino continues ‘Haaland-esque’ hot streak & Salah bags record hat-trick as Liverpool thrash Rangers 7-1

By Ben Green

Firmino continues ‘Haaland-esque’ hot streak & Salah bags seven-minute hat-trick as Liverpool thrash Rangers 6-1

Published: 22:12, 12 October 2022

Liverpool thumped Rangers 7-1 at Ibrox in the Champions League on Wednesday night to consolidate second in Group A.

It was a raucous atmosphere in Glasgow as an Ibrox crowd packed to the rafters created a cauldron effect. And that decibel-defying noise seemed to channel through to the players as Rangers broke the deadlock 17 minutes into the contest through Scott Arfield.

Jurgen Klopp’s men would soon respond through Roberto Firmino, who guided a whipped Kostas Tsimikas corner past Allan McGregor, and from there it was a tense first half. Both clubs pressed and probed, going into half-time with the scoreline level at 1-1.

However, aspirations of pulling off a huge upset and claiming an elite scalp at the interval soon dissipated for Gers fans, to a feeling of dread and deflation. Liverpool came out in the second half with the bit between their teeth and completely ripped through Rangers, scoring six times.

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Firmino got his second of the night to continue his hot streak and scintillating start to 2022/23. The Brazilian has long been considered the selfless striker in Klopp’s system, but this campaign he has flourished as Liverpool’s reliable goal-getter, stepping up in the absence of Sadio Mane.

Incredibly, Firmino has now scored eight goals this season to become Liverpool’s joint-top scorer in all competitions, alongside Mohamed Salah. Such has been Firmino’s form that he is the only player, alongside Erling Haaland (1.79) to register over a goal per 90 minutes in the Premier League (1.15) this season, with a minimum of 270 minutes played.

The Samba sensation then assisted Darwin Nunez with a cheeky touch to become Liverpool’s record assist-provider, alongside Steven Gerrard and James Milner (12). However, it would be Salah who would ultimately upstage his South American counterpart, and he did so in just six minutes.

Introduced for Nunez, Salah tucked home a record hat-trick to claim a match ball in the fastest time ever in the Champions League. It echoes Sadio Mane’s record hat-trick in the Premier League (albeit playing for Southampton, and doing so in just under three minutes) as he etched his name in European folklore.

Harvey Elliot then put the gloss on a 7-1 win with a late finish to really demoralise a bruised and beaten Rangers. At one point, this was an evenly-matched contest between two clubs feeding off the crowd’s energy. By the end, it felt like Goliath pulverising David into submission.