Mo Salah came off the bench to score the fastest hat trick in Champions League history as Liverpool routed Rangers 7-1 at Ibrox on Wednesday.
The Egyptian came on in the second half with his team leading 3-1 and proceeded to fire a stunning treble in just six minutes, 12 seconds to set a new benchmark in the competition.
Bafétimbi 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 feat, walking away with the match ball in Glasgow and putting the seal on a confidence-boosting win for Liverpool, which is in a strong position to advance to the round of 16.
With Manchester City to come in the Premier League on Sunday, Jurgen Klopp hopes the victory will be a turning point for his team after such an unconvincing start to the season.
“The goals we scored were exceptional,” he said. “It’s a night where things worked out for us. It changes the mood definitely, and that’s good. We all know who is coming on Sunday. That will be different, but it’s better to go in with the feeling from tonight.”
It had been a night when Roberto Firmino had looked like being 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.
Klopp had opted to make changes with his team in total control after Nunez made it 3-1 in the 66th minute.
When Salah poked in a fourth for Liverpool from a tight angle in the 75th minute, it served notice of what was to come.
Five minutes later, he curled in another from the edge of the area and almost immediately completed his hat trick with another clinical strike.
Another substitute, Harvey Elliott, finished the scoring in the 87th.
Liverpool is second in Group A with nine points with two games left. Napoli leads with 12 points and advanced to the round of 16 by beating Ajax 4-2 earlier Wednesday. The Amsterdam club has three points, while winless Rangers have zero.
Barcelona on the Brink
Barcelona was twice dragged back from the precipice of a humiliating Champions League elimination by Robert Lewandowski’s late goals on Wednesday.
An instant classic at Camp Nou saw Barcelona draw 3-3 with Inter Milan and barely cling to a slim hope of advancing to the round of 16.
Atletico Madrid is also on the brink after failing to score for a third straight game.
No such worries for Bayern Munich and unheralded Club Brugge who each advanced to the knockout stage with two rounds to spare as leaders of groups where Spanish powers are slumping in third place.
Free-scoring Napoli also progressed with a 4-2 win over Ajax to kick off a stunning evening in the Champions League that delivered 36 goals in eight games.
Though it may just have been a stay of execution for Barcelona, the five-time European champion was grateful to be alive after a thrilling final few minutes against Inter.
Barcelona trailed 2-1 in the 82nd minute and was going out until Lewandowski’s shot was deflected into the Inter net.
The Italians led again in the 89th, when Robin Gosens finished a fast break, but Lewandowski rose again two minutes into stoppage time to head another leveller.
There was still time for Inter to waste chances to win, Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen to make two more saves, and Inter coach Simone Inzaghi to be shown a red card.
Still, Inter now holds the head-to-head tiebreaker over Barcelona and will join Bayern advancing from Group C by beating overmatched Viktoria Plze in two weeks time.
Bayern had a four-goal lead after just 35 minutes at Plze but let its perfect defensive record slip in the second half of a 4-2 win.
Brugge goalkeeper Simon Mignolet ran his clean sheet streak to four games in a 0-0 draw at Atletico, to move four points clear of Porto and six clear of Atletico with the head-to-head tiebreaker.
Porto’s 3-0 win at Bayer Leverkusen included two penalties scored by Iran striker Mehdi Taremi.
Tottenham leads Group D for the first time after beating Eintracht Frankfurt 3-2, with first goals from Son Heung-min either side of a Harry Kane penalty.
Marseille rose to second place by winning 2-0 against Sporting Lisbon, which finished the game with nine men after two red cards.