In-form Diogo Jota scored a terrific hat-trick as Liverpool made a big Champions League statement of intent with a stunning win at Atalanta.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have won all three Group D games without conceding a goal, and victory in one of their remaining fixtures should be enough to take them through to the knockout stages.
Portugal international Jota showed why he was given a start ahead of Roberto Firmino by scoring for a fourth consecutive game, dinking in a delightful opener before doubling the lead with a thumping strike at the near post, reports the BBC.
He completed his triple in the second period, collecting Sadio Mane’s pass before going round goalkeeper Marco Sportiello and slotting into an open net.
In between Jota’s third, the Reds netted two quick-fire goals at the start of the second half as Mohamed Salah took full advantage of an exposed backline to run clear and curl home and Mane clipped in the fourth.
The Serie A side had sniffs of goal, but Duvan Zapata’s strike from the angle hit the post, while two efforts from Luis Muriel were comfortable for goalkeeper Alisson to deal with.
In the group’s other game, Dutch side Ajax picked up their first of the campaign by beating Midtjylland 2-1, as the Danish team remain bottom of the group and without a point.
And Gabriel Jesus marked his return from injury with a fine finish as Manchester City beat Olympiakos to maintain their 100% record in Champions League Group C.
City had taken an early lead through Ferran Torres’ cool finish but made hard work of what should have been a straightforward night against the Greek champions.
They needed Jesus, who had not played since 21 September because of a knee injury, to come off the bench and fire home their second with nine minutes remaining, blasting into the roof of the net from a narrow angle.
Another substitute, Joao Cancelo, added gloss to the scoreline when he brilliantly curled home a third before the end.
This was the third time City had scored three goals in a European win in the past three weeks and, coupled with Porto’s victory over Marseille, means Pep Guardiola’s side need only a point in the return in Greece on 25 November to make the knockout stages for an eighth successive season.
That made it the perfect night for City, who welcome Premier League champions Liverpool to Etihad Stadium on Sunday but, in truth, it was a far from convincing performance that got them the points.