Liverpool’s Champions League win at Rangers changes the mood, but for how long? – BBC Sport

    It cannot be denied that Liverpool’s start to the season has been difficult.

    However, after a heavy loss to Napoli in their Champions League opener, three wins in a row have seen them on the verge of advancing to the round of 16 for the sixth consecutive season, including Wednesday’s thrashing of ranger.

    They went into the half-time break 1-1 against Rangers at Ibrox, but ended regulation time with a 7-1 victory to their credit, including a six-minute hat-trick for substitute Mohamed Salah. .

    former england defender jonathan woodgate called his performance “champions league dynamite” on bbc radio 5 live.

    “you just witnessed what that liverpool team can do in the second half,” added the former leeds defender.

    “A performance like that will give you a lot of confidence.”

    “It seems that liverpool have regained their spark”.

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    • ‘definitely changed the mood’

      on sunday, liverpool will host manchester city, with whom they have competed for the premier league title for the last four seasons, before games against west ham and nottingham forest.

      then they will have a chance to seal their place in the knockout rounds of the champions league against ajax.

      Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said he knows Sunday’s game will be “different” but hopes the win at Ibrox will prove beneficial.

      “It [the win] definitely changed the mood,” Klopp said.

      “Usually we drink a beer after away games, but it’s been so long I could be drunk after one.”

      “when we’re at it, we can be a very good team. unfortunately, we haven’t been like that all season, but tonight we really took advantage of the good things from the first half and that’s why the second half is a result of the first half.

      “it’s good, but we all know who we’re welcoming on Sunday and that’s going to be a different game. but it’s good to go into that game with this feeling than any other.”

      center midfielder virgil van dijk told bt sport the result was “excellent” and “they showed the quality we need for the rest of the season”.

      “It’s not bad to win 7-1 away from home”, added the Dutch defender.

      “everyone expected us to win today, but we took it game by game. Now we’re getting closer to the big game on Sunday – they’re in fantastic form, but we’ll prepare well and be ready.”

      ‘firmino was the star player’

      Salah’s six-minute hat-trick came after the Egyptian came off the bench following a run of four league games without a goal or an assist.

      roberto firmino also scored a double, to add five goals in his last three games.

      woodgate said the latter’s performance was “magnificent” and that he was “an absolute joy to watch.”

      “This has been a very good start to the season for him [Firmino],” Woodgate said.

      “The positions he was getting into and adopting, as well as his awareness when receiving the ball, are just fantastic.”

      ex-liverpool striker michael owen, who was a bt sport expert, agreed, saying firmino was the “star player even though salah scored three”.

      “he [firmino] is total quality,” owen said. “He scored two very important goals and the rest is the icing on the cake.”

      klopp called salah “exceptional” adding: “he’s on fire. he played his position very well and got into the right areas.”

      “hope everything works out for you from now on. but like us as a team, we’ll work on it.”

      owen, who scored 158 goals in 297 appearances for liverpool, said: “a lot of people had him [firmino] fifth in the pecking order and now ahead of his biggest game, you can’t imagine he’s not playing. klopp you can’t leave it out.”

      ‘liverpool needed this, but I still see cracks’

      despite the one-sided nature of the final result, the first half was even with liverpool losing a goal, and could have conceded more had the rangers shown a bit more quality and composure in the final third.

      “liverpool needs to be ruthless again,” owen said.

      “They’re a good team when they play to their strengths, but I keep seeing cracks and I’m sure man city will take notice of that.”

      “liverpool needed this, their great players were scoring and now they will be looking forward to the weekend.”

      former rangers striker and bt sports pundit mccoist agreed that “manchester city will watch that game and see one or two things they’ll like.”

      former manchester united and leeds defender and bt sports pundit rio ferdinand added: “people revel in the mini decline. opposition fans will be happy but they’re not as far off as people are getting kissing.

      “It’s the individual moments where players who lack confidence can get back into shape. You can’t beat the feeling – it builds confidence.

      “salah and firmino will be bouncing with confidence, but still fragile minds if things don’t go their way.

      “conceding first will continue to bother the coach though – these things have to change for his season to change.”

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