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Rush in the hunt for a record

Ian Rush moved within one goal of Roger Hunt's all-time scoring record of 285 goals for Liverpool with a four-goal spree against European minnows Apollon Limassol.

Rush took his European tally to 19 goals, smashing Anfield legend Hunt's 17-goal Euro record for the club as Liverpool put their Cypriot opponents to the sword with ruthless efficiency making the second leg in a fortnight a formality.

The Welsh international striker, who has failed to score in domestic competition this season but grabbed a hat-trick for Wales last week, also hit the woodwork and had a shot well-saved by the keeper.

Paul Stewart began the rout after four minutes, catching Limassol's scottish midfielder David Kenny in possession before advancing to score with a well placed shot.

The Cypriots then held out till the 38th minute when Stewart rose to head firmly home at the far post from Jan Molby's free-kick.

Two minutes later Rush began his one-man assault, turning on Mike Marsh's pass to slot a low drive.

Limassol produced only one real first half chance, a Milenko Spoliaric shot that was comfortably collected by Liverpool keeper David James.

Their task became an impossible mission when they were reduced to ten men before the break, Marios Charalambrous being dismissed for a foul from behind on Paul Stewart.

Rush pounced again after 50 minutes, diverting home Mark Walters' hard, low cross from the right.

Five minutes later he completed his hat-trick, stooping to head home at the far post after keeper Michalis Christophi had dived to push out Walters' curling shot.

Rush made it six after 74 minutes after the keeper could not recover to gather a Jamie Redknapp shot that bounced off his chest. Limassol had some consolation seven minutes from time, Spoliaric scoring with a confidently taken penalty after Marsh was harshly ruled to have brought down Pambos Pittas.

Rush said after taking Hunt's European goal scoring record that he felt proud and privileged by his achievement. Said Rush: "My dad used to support Liverpool and Roger Hunt was his hero. He was a legend here and still will be."

Rush was wary of tempting providence by predicting that he would overtake Hunt's haul but admitted: "If I break his record I think it will stand for a few years. It's always nice to break records and they all seem to be Roger Hunt's records. To beat a player like him who was such a great player for Liverpool is a privilege. I believe records are there to be broken and someone will come along and break mine."

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