Oxlade-Chamberlain score as Liverpool thrash Maribor 7-0

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain joined Liverpool from Arsenal in the summer
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain joined Liverpool from Arsenal in the summer

Liverpool recorded the biggest away win by an English team in the history of the European Cup as they thrashed Slovenian side Maribor to go top of Champions League Group E.

In a scintillating performance, the Reds dominated throughout and opened the scoring on four minutes when Roberto Firmino finished from close range after Mohamed Salah broke free down the right.

Philippe Coutinho made it 2-0 with a half-volley from James Milner’s pull-back before Salah scored twice, finishing off passes from Firmino then Alberto Moreno as the Reds led 4-0 at half-time.

Firmino added a fifth with a flicked header from Coutinho’s free-kick as the Reds claimed their biggest Champions League victory since an 8-0 home victory over Turkish side Besiktas on 6 November 2007.

Daniel Sturridge linked up with fellow substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for the latter to score his first goal for the club to make it 6-0, and Trent Alexander-Arnold sealed the rout with a deflected 30-yard strike.

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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain joined Liverpool from Arsenal in the summer

The victory takes Liverpool level on points with Spartak Moscow, who defeated previous leaders Sevilla 5-1.

Wonderful Liverpool cruise to win

Liverpool had started their Champions League campaign with two draws – 2-2 at home against Sevilla and 1-1 at Spartak Moscow – but they never looked in danger of dropping points against a side second in Slovenia’s First League.

Indeed it took Jurgen Klopp’s side just four minutes to take the lead, with Firmino scoring for the first time in six Liverpool games after Salah’s burst.

Milner, who started in place of club captain Jordan Henderson, set up Coutinho for Liverpool’s second after 13 minutes to effectively finish things off.

It became a question of how many Liverpool would score against woefully outclassed opposition, and the Reds did not disappoint as they produced a wonderful, free-flowing performance.

Salah got his first of the night when he slotted past home goalkeeper Jasmin Handanovic, then claimed the fourth as he and Firmino bundled the ball in from close range after Moreno’s low cross.

Milner, Firmino, Moreno, Salah and Coutinho also missed first-half chances, before Firmino scored his second of the evening with a glancing header from Coutinho’s free-kick.

Second consecutive clean sheet for Liverpool

These two teams meet again in two weeks, and Liverpool will be confident of another easy win at Anfield.

Klopp’s side had won only one of their past eight matches in all competitions before this confidence-building performance, and the German was able to give some of his squad players playing time in the second half.

Perhaps with one eye on the Reds’ match at third-placed Tottenham on Sunday, Salah, Firmino and Georginio Wijnaldum were withdrawn to give Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sturridge and 20-year-old Dominic Solanke chances to impress.

Late on, Sturridge released Oxlade-Chamberlain and the England midfielder slotted past Handanovic for his first goal since his £35m move from Arsenal at the end of August.

There was still time for Alexander-Arnold to score only his second Liverpool goal with a deflected strike from long range to seal a perfect night for the visitors.

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