Liverpool needed a result against Rangers in Champions League action on Wednesday, not just to position themselves for advancement to the knockout rounds but to provide a little positivity and confidence after a difficult result against Arsenal over the weekend.
In the end, then, a 7-1 victory does just that, and while few will be reading too much into that scoreline, especially with Manchester City to come on the weekend, the relief at it felt almost palpable—especially for Mohamed Salah, who broke out of his scoring slump.
“The relief is big,” manager Jürgen Klopp noted. “All the effort is paying off, and we all know when it is running for Mo he is absolutely exceptional. Obviously it was different for him tonight, coming on. I hope everything works for him from now on—like I hope for us!”
With an eye to the weekend Salah started Wednesday night’s game on the bench and from there watched fellow attacker Roberto Firmino turn in a man of the match performance before coming on himself to run at a tiring opponent and score a six-minute hat trick.
It wasn’t just Salah and Firmino who had strong outings, though—especially in a second half that saw the Reds score six to pull away from their overmatched opponents. The real test for this side, though, will be in the league on Sunday, just as was the case last week.
Put in a strong performance and earn a result against City and it might be reasonable to start talking about this struggling Liverpool side finding their feet. Until then, Wednesday’s thumping victory is welcome respite from a difficult season but not more than that.
“I can’t think of one player who didn’t have a good game,” Klopp added. “It is a freak result, we all know that and we don’t make more of it than we should but obviously it’s the best we could have asked for and we are really pleased.”