Location: Vitality Stadium
Bournemouth: Begovic; Daniels, Ake, Francis, Smith; Ibe, Cook, Surman, Pugh; King; Defoe
Liverpool: Mignolet; Gomez, Lovren, Klavan, Robertson; Henderson, Wijnaldum, Chamberlain, Coutinho; Salah, Firmino
Liverpool took all three points from the Vitality Stadium, delivering a rampant attacking performance to dismantle Bournemouth 4-0 on Sunday afternoon. A far cry from the drab display against West Brom, The Reds were back to their usual selves as Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho proved too much to handle for the opposition.
The game started in electric fashion, with Liverpool quick to close down and offer a response after two consecutive home draws saw them slip out the top-four. That’s exactly what they did, with the midfield showing plenty more ingenuity and verve in possession.
It wasn’t long before the scoreline reflected the dominance of Klopp’s side, either, with some incisive movement down the left-hand side by Andy Roberson freeing up space for Coutinho. The Brazilian turned on his magic boots, wriggling through four Bournemouth defenders before slotting the ball beyond the reach of Asmir Begovic.
Things got even better just six minutes later when Dejan Lovren was on hand to convert after Firmino did brilliantly to keep the ball in play and hook it back across goal for the Croatian. An unlikely goalscorer to say the least, you could tell just what it meant to the centre-back having been on the wrong end of some debatable refereeing decisions lately.
— Anfield Goals (@AnfieldGoals_) December 17, 2017
2-0 up but it was by no means done and dusted, with Liverpool receiving a huge let off before the half-time whistle when Jermain Defoe ran free on goal only to strike the woodwork. A rare slice of luck for The Reds…
Liverpool extended their lead thereafter, with Mohamed Salah recording his 20th goal for the club, doing so at a faster rate than Torres, Suarez, Fowler and Ian Rush while equaling Daniel Sturridge’s record. Indicative of just how sublime he’s been since moving to Merseyside in the summer, the Egyptian’s movement was a constant headache for Bournemouth and it’s of little wonder why Klopp is so reluctant to give him a rest on such red hot form.
Salah is turning into Arjen Robben. Everyone knows what's coming but they can't do anything about it.
— Raphael Honigstein (@honigstein) December 17, 2017
The game continued in a similar pattern for the second-half, with Liverpool turning on the style to compound the home side’s woes. Oxlade-Chamberlain almost got himself on the scoresheet, rattling the outside of the post after some brilliant pressing in the midfield area before Roberto Firmino was on hand to head home from Coutinho’s inviting cross. Klopp’s side were very much out of sight by that point, with no fear of capitulation in the ilk of the 4-3 defeat last time the two sides met at the Vitality.
Liverpool huffed and puffed but couldn’t blow the house down against West Brom, but they certainly did on Sunday, delivering the perfect response to a frustrating few weeks for Jurgen Klopp and his team. The return of Adam Lallana was another positive from the game, with the Englishman visibly a lot bigger than last time he took to the field.
The result sees Liverpool return to the top-four, one point ahead of Arsenal in 5th and four behind holders Chelsea who lie in third place.
Next up is a big trip to The Emirates on Friday night – let’s hope The Reds are as rampant then.