A sensational performance from Mohamed Salah helped Liverpool slay Roma 5-2 at Anfield, to take control of their Champions League semi-final tie.
After bagging his 42nd and 43rd goals of the season, Salah laid on two others, first for Saido Mane, then Roberto Firmino as Roma were unable to live with the Reds’ frontline.
Firmino then got his second, before Edin Dzeko managed a late equaliser, and Diego Perotti bagged another from the penalty spot.
A lightening start to the saw Kevin Strootman test Loris Karius from distance, while Salah did the same at the other end against Alisson.
Liverpool managed to get in behind the Roma backline and Roberto Firmino flashed a chance across goal, before Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain tried his luck from outside the area.
Hearts were the Liverpool fans’ mouths as Aleksandar Kolarov smashed the crossbar with an effort from 25 yards.
From there, Liverpool dominated and had Roma on the back foot for the remainder of the half, with Sadio Mane missing a trio of excellent chances.
First blasting one over when one on one with Alisson, then after a fine cutback putting into the stands from 12 yard, and finally he did get the ball in the net but he was adjudged to be in an offside position.
Alisson had to be alert to the threat of Salah, first making a save from the Egyptian, then denying Roberto Firmino.
However, that was just a warning as Salah picked up the ball on the edge of the penalty area and curled a brilliant shot into the far top corner.
Things almost went from bad to worse as Dejan Lovren headed onto the crossbar from a corner, then Alisson once again denied Mane.
But just as half-time approached, a quick counter attack from Liverpool saw Salah run in on goal, and dink the ball over Alisson for his second.
Not long after the restart, Roma got their third of the night after a long ball found Salah, who was in an offside position, and he drove into the penalty area before setting up Mane for an easy tap in.
Moments later, Salah got his second assist of the game playing the ball to the back post for an unmarked Firmino to slide in the fourth.
The tie was essentially wrapped up as Firmino out jumped Strootman to head in Liverpool’s fifth.
Patrick Schick had two chances in quick succession, first Virgil van Dijk’s clearance rocketed off the Roma forward and flashed side, then he headed straight at Karius from a Kolarov cross.
Then with 10 minutes to go, a long ball into the box was well controlled by Dzeko who smashed into the back of the net.
James Milner then handled in the penalty box and Perotti stepped to reduced the deficit further.
Dzeko had two late strikes on goal, but neither was on target.