‘The top level’ – Rio Ferdinand praises Mo Salah for ability to ‘slow it down’ after hat-trick against Rangers

Rio Ferdinand praised Mo Salah’s hat-trick performance for Liverpool in the Champions League against Rangers, saying the way he slowed the game was “the top level”.

The Egyptian scored three goals in six minutes as the game ran away from Rangers as they lost 7-1 at Ibrox having taken the lead on 17 minutes.

The win relieved the pressure on Liverpool after an indifferent start to the season, and leaves them with an excellent chance of reaching the Champions League knockout stages.

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Speaking on BT Sport after the win, Ally McCoist, Michael Owen and Ferdinand discussed Salah’s qualities as they watched his hat-trick again.

Former Rangers striker and manager McCoist observed: “Six minutes, 12 seconds. Class. The one off the post is probably his best. His movement’s good, as you’d expect. He takes great touches.

“The finish is the only thing he can do. He can’t sidefoot it, he can’t drive it. All he can do is jab it.”

Ferdinand added: “The top players, watch how he rolls his studs. He slows it down, that’s normally when it gets hazy for other players. He sees it clearly. Slowing it down and playing at his own pace. At the top level, that’s the difference.”

Owen, a former Liverpool and Stoke striker, explained how Salah thrives, saying: “This lad is one of the strongest footballers around. He’s got a low centre of gravity.”

Liverpool face a huge test next as they host Manchester City in the Premier League on Sunday.

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