Roberto Firmino grabbed a brace in the 7-0 demolition of Maribor. Photo: Antonio Bat/EPA

MARIBOR – Liverpool eased the pressure on Jurgen Klopp as Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah inspired a 7-0 thrashing of Maribor in the Champions League on Tuesday.

After drawing their first two European fixtures and spluttering in the Premier League, Liverpool arrived in Slovenia with critics questioning Klopp’s signings and tactics.

But, for once, Klopp’s team showed a ruthless touch in the opposition penalty area to demolish woeful Maribor.

Firmino opened the scoring and Philippe Coutinho increased Liverpool’s lead before Salah’s brace put the Reds four up by halftime at Stadion Ljudski Vrt.

Firmino netted again after the break, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Trent Alexander-Arnold also on the scoresheet as Liverpool’s goal blitz moved them into first place in Group E with three matches left.

After only one victory in their last eight games in all competitions, this was a welcome tonic for Klopp and company as they ended a three-match winless run.

Now Klopp must hope the dominant display marks a much-needed change in his side’s fortunes, after Saturday’s goalless draw against Manchester United had continued Liverpool’s frustrating recent trend of failing to kill off their opponents despite controlling possession.