NK Maribor 0-7 Liverpool: Seven heaven for record-breaking Reds as they run riot in Slovenia

Liverpool finally produced a long-awaited stellar display as they thrashed NK Maribor 7-0 in the Ljudski vrt Stadium.

NK Maribor 0-7 Liverpool: Seven heaven for record-breaking Reds as they run riot in Slovenia
Roberto Firmino celebrating one of his two goals in Liverpool's 7-0 victory over NK Maribor. (Getty images - John Powell)
NK Maribor
0 7
Liverpool
NK Maribor : Handanovic, Milec, Rajcevic, Suler, Viler, Kabha, Vrhovec, Bohar (Mesanovic, min. 81), Ahmedi (Pihler, min. 58), Kramaric (Hotic, min. 58), Tavares
Liverpool : Karius, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Lovren, Moreno, Can, Milner, Wijnaldum (Solanke, min. 79), Coutinho, Salah (Oxlade Chamberlain, min. 56), Firmino (Sturridge, min. 68)
SCORE: 0-1, min. 4, Firmino, 0-2, min. 13, Coutinho, 0-3, min. 19, Salah, 0-4, min. 39, Salah, 0-5, min. 54, Firmino, 0-6, min. 86, Oxlade-Chamberlain, 0-7, min. 90, Alexander-Arnold
REFEREE: Victor Kassai. Bookings: Milec, Vrhovec, Hotic.
INCIDENTS: Champions League group stage match-day three clash between NK Maribor and Liverpool FC.

Liverpool finally got their Champions League campaign underway with their biggest ever away win in Europe, as they found their long-awaited goalscoring prowess with a 7-0 trouncing of NK Maribor

In their first away Champions League win since 2009, the Reds' first-half display showed the kind of cut-throat class in front of goal that the Reds have failed to display in recent weeks.

Their superior quality was simply too much for the Slovenian side as goals from Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah - a brace - and Philippe Coutinho gave Liverpool a commanding 4-0 lead at half-time. 

Things did not change for the hosts as the second-half was as routine as the first for the visitors. An early Firmino header made it five before Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain came off the bench to score his first Liverpool goal in the 86th minute.

Trent Alexander-Arnold dished out the final blow for the home side as Jürgen Klopp and his team move to the top of Group E thanks to Sevilla's heavy defeat at Spartak Moscow.

Returning Milner leads Reds out in Slovenia

Jürgen Klopp made three changes to the side that was held to a 0-0 stalemate against Manchester United on Saturday with the biggest change seeing James Milner return to the side and finding himself as captain on the night.

Loris Karius returned to the sticks as Liverpool’s first choice goalkeeper on European duty with Belgian Simon Mignolet on the bench.  

Trent Alexander-Arnold found himself back in at right-back replacing Joe Gomez in only his second competitive Champions League encounter.

Firmino gives Liverpool dream start

It was the visitors who started the game brightest and their quick start was rewarded when Salah was let loose on the right-hand side. He blistered down the flank, beating full-back Marko Suler to square a superb pass to Firmino.

The Brazilian slotted the ball home into an empty net to the delight of the travelling supporters and put Liverpool in a perfect position after only four minutes.

Reds come flying out the blocks with merciless performance

Klopp’s decision to bring Milner back into the starting eleven was immediately repaid with the Englishman's service in the second goal truly magnificent.

A string of passes found Salah again who slotted in Milner. He then executed an intelligent chipped pull-back that found Coutinho, who rifled a volley from 12 yards out into the left corner of the net to give the Reds a 2-0 lead 13 minutes in.

Klopp's side had only won one in eight coming into this fixture and it was only a matter of time until a frustrated Liverpool side would give a performance that displayed such class and clinical attacking.

Sadly for Maribor, it took only 19 minutes for the Reds' cutting-edge - which had been missing of late - to make it 3-0 as Firmino returned the favour to his Egyptian team-mate Salah.

Firmino slotted a straight through ball that Salah galloped onto before sliding the ball past Jasmin Handanović - brother of Inter Milan goalkeeper Samir - with his right foot to put Maribor out of sight not even a quarter of the way into the game.

It wasn't long until an inevitable fourth goal came for Liverpool and the Reds found the net again before half-time when Salah doubled his tally for the night. It was a goal that simply belonged on the training ground.

Coutinho found Alberto Moreno and the left-back burst beyond the Maribor defence, sending in a smart low cross which found both Firmino and Salah. The pair met the ball at seemingly the same time to put it in.

However, the goal was eventually awarded to the Egyptian who bagged his second for the night and helped Liverpool to end the half with a commanding 4-0 lead.

Second-half just as commanding as the first

Liverpool made sure that any possibility for a miraculous recovery was quickly put to bed for the Slovenian champions with Firmino also netting his brace.

The Reds came out with the same intent that they started the first-half with and their early pressure was rewarded when Emre Can was fouled down the left-hand side.

Coutinho whipped in a pinpoint ball from the following free-kick that found the head of his compatriot Firmino whose deft headed touch into the corner was enough to beat the stranded Handanović.

Oxlade-Chamberlain was introduced into the game by the hour, replacing Salah, who wasn't afforded the chance to complete his hat-trick.

After a slower second-half, Klopp's change saw the former Arsenal man get his first goal for Liverpool as the away side hit Maribor for six on 86 minutes.

Oxlade-Chamberlain opened up his Liverpool account with a simple stroked finish from 10 yards out after strolling onto fellow substitute Daniel Sturridge's well-weighted through ball to increase Maribor's misery.

Liverpool continued to play without mercy and the Reds put the final nail in the coffin on the stroke of 90 minutes when Alexander- Arnold fired in his second Champions League goal of the campaign.

The 19-year-old picked the ball up from 25 yards out and his shot took a wicked deflection to completely wrong-foot the Slovenian goalkeeper to end what was a sobering night for the home side.