Liverpool: Mo Salah shines as Jurgen Klopp causes upset in huge win | Football | Sport

Liverpool progressed to the Europa League quarter-finals 11-2 on aggregate after a 6-1 beatdown at home to a dreadful Sparta Prague. Cody Gakpo, Darwin Nunez, Mohammed Salah, Bobby Clark and Dominik Szoboszlai all got in on the act as Jurgen Klopp‘s men ran rampant at Anfield.

Deadly Liverpool force emergency meeting

Liverpool opened the match by scoring four goals in the first 13 minutes – one from Darwin Nunez, one from Bobby Clark, one from Mohamed Salah, and one from Cody Gakpo. After the Dutchman’s goal went in, the Sparta Prague players huddled together to recompose themselves.

For the rest of the first half, the visiting side looked far more respectable. While Liverpool kept up the lion’s share of possession, the Czech team looked far less open and even pulled one back through Birmancevic in the 41st minute. The rescued form would not last the rest of the game, however, as Liverpool scored two more in the second half.

Sizzling Salah breaks 37-year-old record

With his goal in the ninth minute, Mohamed Salah became the first Liverpool player ever to score 20 or more goals in all competitions in seven successive seasons for the club. Ian Rush managed six in a row from the 81/82 season to 86/87, while Roger Hunt and Gordon Hodgson managed five successive seasons.

The milestone comes in the Egyptian’s first start since New Year’s Day, with most of his appearances this year cameos off the bench.

Darwin Nunez is still Darwin Nunez

Despite opening the scoring early on, adding to a tally of nine goals in his last eleven games, Darwin Nunez may never change. The Uruguayan missed an absolute sitter in the 34th minute, skying the ball from Salah’s cross in front of a wide-open goal.

An eight-goal cushion on aggregate made it easy for Nunez to laugh the missed opportunity off, though it continues a worrying pattern of missed chances for Liverpool’s number nine.

Joe Gomez chance for first goal snubbed by Klopp

Centre-back Joe Gomez was called off the pitch to be replaced by Kostas Tsimikas at half-time, denying the freshly called-up England international the chance to score a first senior goal.

The decision from Klopp caused outrage among fans, with many having taken to X at half-time to call for the manager to move Gomez up top. One fan posted: “Why are we taking Joe Gomez off in a thrashing? Let the man score Jurgen I beg of you,” and another posted “How have you taken off Joe Gomez Klopp? I am fuming.” It seemed like if there was ever a night for Gomez to break his duck, this would have been it. Alas, the wait goes on.

Liverpool’s future after Klopp in good hands

Bobby Clark’s seventh-minute goal adds the 19-year-old to a long list of youngsters to have scored for Liverpool in recent games. Jayden Danns, Lewis Koumas and Conor Bradley have all been introduced to the first-team fold this season, and have all added their names to the score sheet.

Whoever comes in after Klopp takes his leave will have a wealth of strong options to take into the future.

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