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Fastest hat-trick in UCL history just what doctor ordered for Salah, Liverpool

Mohamed Salah of Liverpool celebrates scoring his third goal during the Uefa Champions League Group A match against Rangers at Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow on October 12 2022.

Image:Joe Prior/Visionhaus via Getty Images

By his own astronomically high standards, this season has been disappointing for Mohamed Salah as he and Liverpool have struggled, but in one rampant showing at Rangers on Tuesday both player and club rediscovered their spark.

Tipped to be Manchester Citys main Premier League title challengers again this term, Liverpool have suffered their worst start to a domestic season in a decade, having amassed just 10 points from their opening eight fixtures.

Salahs lack of goals has perhaps been one of the reasons for their slump. Two from eight starts is not form you would usually associate with a player who averages 0.61 goals in the Premier League, but the Egyptians struggles have matched his teams woes.

Form, however, is only temporary. Salah and Liverpool were in dire need of a lift with champions Manchester City next up at Anfield on Sunday. The quickest hat-trick in Champions League history from substitute Salah in a 7-1 success was just what the doctor ordered.

We usually drink a beer after away games, its that long since I drank well probably be drunk after one, a buoyant Juergen Klopp joked after the match.

The relief is big. All the effort is paying off. We all know when it is running for Mo [Salah] he is exceptional, absolutely exceptional. Obviously it was a different position for him tonight, coming on.

I hope for him everything works for him from now on, like I hope it does for us.

With Salah left on the bench for the first time this season Klopp went for a more youthful Liverpool line-up as he looked to put his side on the verge of the last-16 against Rangers, and forget their domestic struggles. It looked like the gamble had backfired as Liverpool conceded first for the eighth time this season in the first half at a bouncing Ibrox, before a double from Roberto Firmino turned the match on its head.

Even after close-season signing Darwin Nunez did his confidence a world of good with a fine finish to make it 3-1, Liverpool did not look overly convincing, until Salah entered the fray. The defending left much to be desired from Rangers, but the way Salah stroked the ball into the net, especially for his treble-clinching third, was reminiscent of the Egyptian at his best.

It will take a special performance for Liverpool to end Citys unbeaten start to the season on Sunday, but the chances of Salah making another telling contribution in this blockbuster clash look more promising now.

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