Rangers v Liverpool: Pictures
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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was delighted by the performance of the ‘exceptional’ Roberto Firmino after the Reds thrashed Rangers 7-1 at Ibrox on Wednesday night – but was also keen to hail six other players when asked about the Brazilian. Klopp’s charges scored six second-half goals in Glasgow as Firmino put Liverpool into the lead after a first-half equaliser before Darwin Nunez scored. Substitute Mohamed Salah netted a rapid six-minute hat-trick and Harvey Elliott topped the night off with a late seventh to put Liverpool on the cusp of qualifying for the last 16 of the Champions League.
And asked about Firmino, who was vital to Liverpool coming from one goal down to lead 3-1 with a brace and an assist before a raft of substitutions took the match beyond the Gers, Klopp told BT Sport’s Des Kelly: “The [first] goal was a cheeky one from Kostas [Tsimikas]. We wanted to go there [with the corner to the near post] but you have to hit the ball [there].
“It was a great goal, a great equaliser. Very important. Yes he played an exceptional game. To be honest I didn’t see a lot of players tonight who didn’t play really well. Harvey [Elliott] played super, Fabio [Carvalho] played top, both sixes [Fabinho and Jordan Henderson] from the beginning really there, the centre-halves [Ibrahima Konate and Virgil van Dijk] top.
“Everybody was spot on. In a difficult game which could have been much more difficult. That’s why I’m really pleased.” Klopp added: “Actually I liked the first half already, to be 100 per cent honest, big parts of it at least. We concede the goal which was well played. The reaction was good and in our good spells in the first half, we played exceptional between the lines.
“We showed the boys situation we can do and had to do that more often. We knew it would be pretty exhausting for Rangers because it was tough to defend us in these moments. Yeah then Darwin [Nunez] opened the box and Mo as well. Who else scored? Harvey! That’s all six.”
On hat-trick hero Salah, who scored a morale-boosting rapid-fire treble, the German continued: “Yeah different position, Mo inside. We had to force him a bit. But no of course he’s an outstanding player, we all know. Today he showed that and it’s good.
“The difference in the atmosphere was massive when they score and when we score, obviously. But that was clear. We’re not since yesterday in the competition so we know in away games it’s like this – the most difficult circumstances.
“Tonight could have been much more difficult but we played football and when we play football and we play to our potential, we’re a pretty good football team. That’s what we showed tonight at least in a few moments.”
Liverpool welcome Premier League champions Manchester City, and the 20-goal Erling Haaland, to Anfield in their next match on Sunday afternoon. And Klopp challenged his side to now put together a run of consistent results, saying: “Yeah much better. [This was] Nothing to do with the City game obviously but of course it’s better to get some confidence and some flow.
“But we have to prove consistency – we know that. I don’t have to say that, I only say that because I get asked. We know what we have to do and we will give it a try.” Liverpool now just need a point in Amsterdam in two weeks’ time to qualify for the next round of the Champions League. Group A leaders Napoli, who beat the Reds 4-1 in Naples, are three points clear after four wins from four.
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