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Football ace Salah sets Champions League record with fastest hat-trick

Mohamed Salah has come off the bench to score the fastest-ever hat-trick in Champions League history as Liverpool routed Rangers 7-1 at Ibrox.

The Egyptian came on in the second half on Wednesday with his team-leading 3-1 and proceeded to fire a stunning treble in just six minutes and 12 seconds to set a new benchmark in the competition.

Bafetimbi Gomis previously held the record from 2011 when he took eight minutes to complete his hat-trick in a 7-1 win for Lyon against Dinamo Zagreb.

But Salah smashed that time with his stunning contribution, walking away with the match ball in Glasgow after putting the seal on a confidence-boosting win for Liverpool, which is in a strong position to advance to the round of 16.

It had been a night when Roberto Firmino had looked like the hero — scoring twice and setting up another for Darwin Nunez after Rangers had gone ahead in the first half.

But Salah ensured he would dominate the headlines with three wonderfully taken goals.

Jurgen Klopp had opted to make changes with his team in total control after Nunez made it 3-1 in the 66th minute.

Salah poked in a fourth for Liverpool in the 75th minute and then curled in another in the 80th. He completed his hat trick a minute after that with another clinical strike.

Another substitute, Harvey Elliott, finished the scoring in the 87th.

Rangers were left stunned after dominating the early play.

Usual slow start

Klopp’s team selection was partly a reaction to losing Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip and Luis Diaz to injury in a 3-2 defeat to Arsenal on Sunday that left the Reds already 14 points adrift of the Premier League leaders.

The visitors have made a habit of slow starts this season and fell behind for the eighth time in 12 games when Arfield’s run was not tracked from midfield and the former Canadian international produced a brilliant finish to find the bottom corner.

Fortunately for last season’s Champions League finalists, Rangers’ own defensive frailties were exposed for the equaliser on 24 minutes.

The Scottish giant had avoided a heavy defeat in a 2-0 loss at Anfield a week ago only due to the heroics of goalkeeper Allan McGregor.

But in a vastly improved performance, it stunned Liverpool by taking the lead after 17 minutes.

Fabio Carvalho lost possession in his own half, and after a swift break, Scott Arfield fired low past goalkeeper Alisson on the edge of the area.

It could have been even better for the home team when Antonio-Mirko Colak cut out Joe Gomez loose back pass but couldn’t find a finish.

Liverpool equalised against the run of play after 24 minutes when Firmino headed in Konstantinos Tsimikas’ corner at the near post.

Liverpool went ahead 10 minutes into the second half when Gomez’s curled cross was turned home by Firmino again.

From there, the visitors took control and went 3-1 up when the Brazilian’s delightful backheel set up Nunez to strike.

Nunez’s goal was as much to do with the hosts’ poor defending, while Salah was presented with gift after gift having only come off the bench for the final 22 minutes.

Salah’s incredible treble took him to 38 Champions League goals for Liverpool, now the most by any player for an English club in the competition, surpassing Didier Drogba for Chelsea and Sergio Aguero for Manchester City, who both have 36.

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