Opta Go Stat-Crazy After Salah, Firmino And Jota Wreak Havoc On Rangers

Mid-week Champions League action almost never disappoints.

Giants Barcelona and Juventus are on the brink of being demoted to the Europa League, whereas Manchester City and Real Madrid have already qualified for the next round.

While all this is happening, Mo Salah and other Liverpool players are busy breaking records.

Safe to say, Salah is not having a good season.

With just 2 goals in the 8 games he has played, he hasn’t gotten off to the best start in the Premier League.

He’s underperforming his xG of 3.17 and was comfortably pocketed by 23-year-old Takehiro Tomiyasu against Arsenal, their last PL game.

Some have been fearing that it is the end of the road for the Egyptian at Anfield.

However, his performance in the Champions League game against Rangers last night was nothing short of the prime Mohammad Salah that defenders fear. 

The winger came on in the 68th minute when Liverpool were holding a comfortable 3-1 lead against the Scottish powerhouse. 

Bringing on stars who are struggling, against a weakened team, is a great way to boost their confidence. We saw this with Antonio Conte and Heung-Min Son, who scored a hattrick after coming on against Leicester in a 6-2 win in September. 

If Klopp was aiming to light a similar spark in Salah, he duly achieved his target. 

Salah scored three goals in only six minutes (76′,80′,81′), more precisely 6 minutes and 12 seconds, and became the man to score the fastest Champions League hat trick in history. 

On a side note, Liverpool went on to win the game 7-1.

This record was previously held by Bafétimbi Gomez, who scored a hattrick in 8 minutes as Lyon won against Croatian club Dinamo Zagreb in a very similar 7-1 scoreline. 

This, however, wasn’t the only record that was broken in this game last night.

Salah not only had the fastest Champions League hat trick, but also the one with the least amount of touches.

He scored 3 goals with only 9 touches on the ball. That’s an astonishing 3 touches per goal. Talk about being efficient.

Furthermore, this was also the first time since 2012 that a single player had assisted all three goals in a hat trick in the UCL, with the accolade going to Diogo Jota. A friend in need is a friend indeed.

The remaining cog of the front three, Roberto Firmino made sure he too added his name to the record books, not once but twice.

The Brazilian became Liverpool’s highest-ever brace scorer in the competition. What this means is no other Liverpool player has scored 2 or more goals in as many different games as he has, with 6. 

His other contribution to the game was the assist he had in the 66th minute to new signing Darwin Nunez.

This assist also was record-breaking, as it propelled him to becoming the Kop’s top assister in the Champions League, matching Steven Gerrard and James Milner’s 12 assists. 

Safe to say this was a successful night for Liverpool’s front three. Could this be the turnaround that they needed to finally get going in the Premier League too?