Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool celebrated a landmark Champions League night in Amsterdam with a dominant victory over Ajax.
Jurgen Klopp has now advanced from six successive group stages in the competition with Liverpool, a club record, after the Reds dominated in Amsterdam on Wednesday.
Salah scored his sixth goal in his last four UEFA Champions League games in the 42nd minute of the opener before Darwin Nunez and Harvey Elliott added second-half quick-fire finishes to seal victory.
Ajax will drop into the Europa League by avoiding a resounding defeat against winless Rangers on matchday six, while Liverpool must beat leaders Napoli by an improbable four goals to win Group A.
Ajax should have taken the lead in the third minute but Steven Berghuis curled a superb opportunity against the right post and the midfielder curled just wide shortly afterwards.
A determined Liverpool continued to have their backs against the wall before Andy Robertson smashed a rare Reds chance just off target, but Klopp’s visitors soon hit the front.
Jordan Henderson raced sensitively past Salah to lift neatly over the onrushing Remko Pasveer before Nunez inexplicably smashed the left post and a gaping goal two minutes later.
Nunez made amends after the break when he headed Robertson’s corner off the right post and two minutes later Elliott fired into the net.
Substitute Kenneth Taylor fired over a decent chance after the hour, although Ajax never threatened an unlikely comeback.
What does it mean? The Reds continue Ajax’s hot streak to qualify easily
Incredible Premier League comebacks so far have led to Liverpool being scrutinized, although the Reds put in an emphatic display in their 150th Champions League game.
Klopp will take encouragement from the Reds’ fourth straight win in the competition over Ajax – only Real Madrid (seven) have managed such a longer run – so Alfred Schreuder has plenty to think about.
Ajax, whose first-half dominance did not pay off, are likely to settle for participation in the Europa League after slumping to their seventh defeat in nine home games against English sides in Europe.
1. Liverpool (4-3-3)
GK – Alisson Becker – 5/10 – Ajax created chances but actually never forced the Liverpool number one into a notable save.
RB – Trent Alexander-Arnold – 7/10 – Made a goal-saving block in the first half.
CB – Joe Gomez – 6/10 – Solid performance.
CB – Virgil van Dijk – 4/10 – Still not quite at his best and was bullied by Brian Brobbey on occasion. He’ll be happy with the clean sheet though.
LB – Andy Robertson – 8/10 – Brilliant. overall performance from the Scottish captain. Bagged an assist and everything. Top stuff.
CM – Harvey Elliott – 7/10 – Scored his second ever Champions League goal in wonderful fashion. Really tidy performance.
CM – Fabinho – 6/10 – A decent performance in the second half after struggling with the pace of the game in the opening stages.
CM – Jordan Henderson – 7/10 – Great play in the lead up to Salah’s opener.
RW – Mohamed Salah – 8/10 – Lovely dinked finish to give Liverpool the lead and an equally lovely pass to set up the third.
ST – Roberto Firmino – 7/10 – Liverpool are a much, much better team when he’s on form. He was on Wednesday evening.
LW – Darwin Nunez – 6/10 – He missed an open goal in the first half, but was able to find the net in the second with a fantastic header.
SUB – Curtis Jones – 5/10 – Decent when he came on.
SUB – Fabio Carvalho – N/A.
SUB – James Milner – 5/10 – Helped kill the game.
SUB – Stefan Bajcetic – N/A.
SUB – Konstantinos Tsmikas – N/A.