It took Mohamed Salah just 10 minutes to answer in the affirmative and another six to underscore how significant he is to Liverpool. The Egypt international can absolutely do it on a cold Wednesday night at Stoke, with limited time, and in scorching fashion.
Jurgen Klopp’s had been far from their best despite being 1-0 up, with the hosts desperate to expose their very worst.
But once the Premier League’s top goalscorer was introduced with the clock reading 67, there was to be only one outcome.
Mohamed Salah scored twice in a 23-minute cameo off the bench to add to Sadio Mane’s first-half opener and edge the visitors closer to the Premier League’s top four.
Egypt international Salah was one of six players rotated out from the side that drew with Chelsea at the weekend, although the changes failed to prevent the Reds from registering a fourth consecutive away win in this fixture.
Mane, who had not scored in his previous five league appearances, earlier opened the scoring by punishing a sleepy Stoke defence in the 17th minute.
The Reds all but confirmed another important three points when Salah, who joined the likes of Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Henderson on the bench, fired home from Mane’s cross in the 77th minute.
The in-form attacker completed the rout with his 12th league goal late in proceedings as Klopp’s side leapfrogged Tottenham, while Stoke, who were aggrieved not to see Simon Mignolet sent off for bringing down Mame Biram Diouf in the first half, slipped to 16th in the table.
Klopp responded to the slight loss of control by introducing Salah and James Milner and the former quickly continued his hot run in front of goal, volleying home Mane’s cross to make it 2-0 with just over 15 minutes remaining.
Then he only needed a further six minutes to double his tally and complete a one-sided victory, outpacing Pieters and applying a cool finish past Grant…