With an emphatic second-half performance, Liverpool beat Rangers 7-1 in the Champions League at Ibrox Stadium on Wednesday.
Jurgen Klopp found his side 1-0 down early on when Scott Arfield flicked a ball past Alisson from outside the box, but Roberto Firmino initiated a quick response from Liverpool to equalize with a precise header from a corner.
In an even first half, chances were few but Rangers had the best as Fashion Sakala flashed past Kostas Tsimikas before clipping the ball over the goal only for Ibrahima to stop Konate Arfield from securing his brace.
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Liverpool appeared to have much more control in the second half as they stemmed the flow of opposition in attack and the Premier League side took the lead when Joe Gomez linked up with Harvey Elliott before putting a precision low cross in the path of Firmino, who made no mistake in the finish.
The Reds kept their pressure up after taking the lead and found a third place as Darwin Nunez finished well after Firmino’s streak and they were soon out of sight after Mohamed Salah was introduced. The right wing struck three times in six minutes after missing his first chance, with Harvey Elliott scoring the first Champions League goal of his career for Liverpool’s seventh goal.
A superb second-half performance restored Liverpool’s fatal lead. What developed into a dominant performance produced a positive result ahead of Sunday’s trip to Manchester City despite struggling with injuries.
The Reds started the game slowly with a poor first half in which they continued their recent trend of conceding the first goal.
Manager rating (out of 10 with 10 = best)
Jurgen Klopp, 8 – Klopp had a number of injury problems and managed to deploy a system that suited his line-up. His substitutions were well timed to secure a comfortable victory in the end.
Player ratings (players introduced after 70 minutes = no rating)
GK Alisson, 6 – Outside of conceding, there wasn’t much for Alisson to do as Liverpool’s defense prevented Rangers from getting any more dangerous shots on target. Responded quickly to Konate’s block that prevented a second-half cross from reaching its intended target.
DF Konstantinos Tsimikas, 6 — Tsimikas provided an assist for Firmino’s equalizer with a strong delivery, but the Greece international could have been better with some of his defenses in individual situations of the night.
DF Virgil van Dijk, 7th — It took him some time to get into his best gear, but once he did he looked comfortable, was quick to anticipate danger and showed calmness under pressure in possession.
DF Ibrahima Konate, 8 – The Liverpool centre-back was often the man to eliminate danger, getting in the way of a punch in the penalty area just before half-time after Sakala clipped the ball over the danger area. An outstanding performance by the France international.
DF Joe Gomez, 7 – The 25-year-old stayed wide in moments when he was marauding forward and he produced an exquisite second-half pass that found Firmino for Liverpool’s second goal of the evening.
MF Fabinho, 6 – Anchored the defense in confined spaces and that was crucial to Liverpool’s third goal as Fabinho recaptured the ball high up the pitch and quickly put the ball forward.
MF Harvey Elliott, 8 — The 19-year-old was one of Liverpool’s best possession players throughout the game and appeared willing to take risks with progressive play. Kicked the ball forward when needed to connect midfield with attack. A deserved hit to round off his performance.
MF Jordan Henderson, 6 — Passed the ball safely and provided cover next to Fabinho. Helped organize Liverpool’s midfield after a slow start in the first half.
MF Fabio Carvalho, 7 — In a mixed first half, the game broke down several times due to the young attacking midfielder, although he looked better when playing from the central areas.
FW Darwin Nunez, 7 – He made positive runs into space that helped create chances for Liverpool and he got on the scoresheet with a well-delivered finish when he combined with Firmino.
FW Roberto Firmino, 9 — Another impressive performance from Firmino saw him score his eighth goal in nine games with a brace on the night against Rangers. He also picked out Nunez with some flair to help Liverpool’s third.
Mohamed Salah (Nunez, 68″), 10 — The winger was dangerous when he was introduced and while he missed his first chance, he made no mistake on his next three as he scored a hat-trick in five minutes.
Thiago (Henderson, 68″), 7 — Thiago was aggressive in the challenge and always tried to play the ball forward. Regained possession for Salah’s second goal.
Andy Robertson (Tsimikas, 68″), 6 – Came on for Tsimikas and was enjoying his performance after the former Celtic Academy player received a reception from the Ibrox crowd. The Scotland captain had little to do as Salah quickly scored three goals.
Diogo Jota (Firmino, 73″), N/R — Close to scoring, but should have made an effort the first time. Harvey Elliott ensured Liverpool would score their seventh goal.
https://www.espn.com/soccer/liverpool-engliverpool/story/4768907/liverpool-ratings-salah-perfect-champions-league-vs-rangers Salah perfect Champions League vs. Rangers