Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho all scored as Liverpool romped to an historic 7-0 win away to Maribor in Group E of the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League on Tuesday.
Liverpool scored four in the first half, including three in the first 19 minutes, as Firmino and Coutinho opened the scoring, before Salah netted twice. Firmino got his second after the break, while substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Trent Alexander-Arnold wrapped up the scoring late on.
Liverpool have now moved level on points with Spartak Moscow at the top of the group.
Liverpool's familiar high-pressing approach paid dividends in the third minute when Salah robbed his marker and teed up Firmino in the box, who deftly flicked the ball into an open net.
Firmino and Salah were heavily involved in creating the away side's second goal. The former released Salah from central midfield and the Egyptian winger stretched the flank before crossing for Coutinho to turn in on the run.
Liverpool were three up inside 20 minutes. Again, pressing high up the pitch reaped rewards when Salah again pinched possession up top before charging into the box and slotting the ball in.
Salah was in rampant mood and wrapped up his brace six minutes before the break when he beat Firmino to James Milner's astute cross. The goal meant Egypt international Salah had set a new personal best scoring run in European competition, per B/R Football:
B/R Football @brfootball
Mo Salah has already broken his personal record for Champions League goals in a single season. It’s only October. https://t.co/IsBRpjbypY2017-10-17 19:27:47
A fourth goal in the opening half also made club history for the Reds, according to ESPN FC:
ESPN FC @ESPNFC
4' - Firmino ⚽ 13' - Coutinho ⚽ 19' - Salah ⚽ 39' - Salah ⚽ Liverpool score 4 goals in the first half of a #UCL game for the first time! https://t.co/MvoB0LhJst2017-10-17 19:28:17
Firmino bagged his brace eight minutes into the second half when he glanced a header beyond 39-year-old Maribor goalkeeper Jasmin Handanovic from an expertly whipped Coutinho free-kick.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp knew the game was out of sight and responded by subbing Salah for Oxlade-Chamberlain. The former Arsenal winger blasted a volley high and over as the visitors still went hunting for more goals.
Squawka Football detailed how effectively Salah had attacked the Maribor defence:
Squawka Football @Squawka
Mohamed Salah's game by numbers vs. Maribor: 100% take-ons completed 5 shots 3 crosses 2 chances created 2 goals 1 assist At the double. https://t.co/whX4a4h8XF2017-10-17 20:03:32
Oxlade-Chamberlain went close again inside the final 15 minutes, but Handanovic palmed his low drive around the post. The attacking midfielder finally got his first goal as a Liverpool player when he finished coolly after being played in by fellow sub Daniel Sturridge.
It meant Liverpool had broken a club record in Europe, per Dominic King of the Daily Mail:
Dominic King @DominicKing_DM
Record breaking score now for @LFC away in Europe. Beats the 5-0s in 1964 (Reykjavik), 1976 (Crusaders), 2001 (Haka).2017-10-17 20:28:17
There was still time for Trent Alexander-Arnold to lash in a seventh, albeit with the aid of a big deflection. The final strike put an appropriate seal on an historic night for a Liverpool side finally looking the part in Group E after drawing their opening two matches.