Mohamed Salah hat-trick puts gloss on Liverpool’s 7-1 demolition of Rangers

In the end, it was a story of the razor-sharp brilliance of Mohamed Salah, the close control in tight spaces and a substitute’s cameo of outrageous dimension. That, and the excellence of Roberto Firmino, who scored two, made another for Darwin Núñez with a velvet smooth backheel and did more than anybody to put Liverpool in control of this Champions League game.

It was a second group-phase win over a limited Rangers team in a little over a week and, after all of the Premier League angst – bound up in Liverpool’s worst start to a domestic season since 2012-13 – there was the tonic of knowing that a place in the knockout phase of Europe’s elite competition is all but secure.

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