Liverpool took another step towards the Europa League’s knockout rounds after thrashing Toulouse 5-1 at Anfield.
Jurgen Klopp’s side maintained their perfect record in the competition this season with a comfortable win over the French side.
Klopp made eight changes from the Merseyside Derby win over Everton at the weekend, but the Reds took control of the game early on as Diogo Jota weaved through the visitor’s defence to fire home.
Toulouse equalised on the counter-attack as Thijs Dallinga beat the offside trap to race away and roll a finish past Caoimhin Kelleher, though two goals in four minutes from Wataru Endo and Darwin Nunez gave Liverpool a two-goal lead at the break.
Ryan Gravenberch – Liverpool’s outstanding player on the night – scored the fourth, as the Dutch midfielder reacted to a rebound to net, after Darwin Nunez somehow hit the post in a chaotic sequence that saw the forward round the goalkeeper and hit the woodwork with the goal gaping.
Mohamed Salah came off the bench to add a fifth on a hugely positive night for Liverpool, who now sit five points clear of their beaten opponents and Union Saint-Gilloise at the top of Group E.
Klopp, who handed minutes to academy products Luke Chambers, Callum Scanlon, Jarell Quansah and James McConnell, said he was delighted with a ‘perfect night’ for his side.
“You saw in the moments where it was difficult,” Klopp told TNT Sports.
“Most of the time we were in complete control. We made good goals, nobody got hurt, perfect night. We could bring the kids on.”
The German was also full of praise for summer signing Gravenberch, who produced his best performance since signing from Bayern Munich.
“He’s a good player. I’m so happy for him that he starts really enjoying his football again. His first touch is incredible, his acceleration with the ball. He’s not even half way there. The good thing is that he has a lot of things to improve.”