Mane treble as hot Reds hit high five

Sadio Mane was at the heart of it with a hat-trick but Mohamed Salah also scored as did Roberto Firmino.

The talented Brazilian was subbed off late on, and Sadio Mane appeared to have missed his glorious hat-trick chance as the time ebbed away. The front three fired heavily with Roberto Firmino also registering his name on the scoring sheet for his rampant side. The only man to reach the milestone faster was George Allan in 1896.

Although Mane's role in Liverpool's success has perhaps been overshadowed so far in 2017-18, Klopp says that the Senegalese showed he is as important a piece in the squad as any other. The Reds will look to take an advantage from this tie but will need most of their star players to be at the top of their game, to take anything from this tie.

Klopp had been wary of tonight's opposition prior to the game, praising them in his pre-match press conference, no doubt being aware of their strengths across the field which they have showed so impressively in the Primeira Liga.

"We used to sit here for years, until very recently, saying the Premier League is over-rated, over-hyped and teams didn't do so well when it got to the knock-out stages in Europe", Dunphy told viewers. Then it will come if you keep working really hard like he did.

"That he plays a good season, I recognise that already".

Salah was once again at his lethal best as he netted his 30th goal of the season for his side.

It was soon 2-0 as James Milner hit the post with an effort from the left corner of the box and the rebound fell for Salah, who coolly finished, chipping over the keeper then heading down to himself to tap in from close range. So Klopp's side certainly has cause to have a chip on their shoulder. It was good. Ox [Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain] obviously as well.

"Obviously at this big club, if somebody is the second quickest and the quickest was long ago that makes it more exciting so congratulations, but hopefully it won't stop", said Klopp.

Netherland's worldwide Georginio Wijnaldum knows the importance of the away fixture but believes the first leg will only set up a grand finale at Anfield on March 6th.

"No of course not, why should I?"

But with a second leg still to come, Wijnaldum believes that both teams will still have plenty to play for in the second leg - regardless of the outcome in Portugal. We owe our supporters at Anfield a 100 percent performance and that's what we want to deliver. "That's all", he added.

Vanessa Coleman