Liverpool equal Premier League record with Bournemouth destruction – 5 talking points
LIVERPOOL 9-0 BOURNEMOUTH: Scott Parker’s side suffered an afternoon to forget on Saturday as the hosts put nine goals past them in their Premier League clash at Anfield
The Reds endured a difficult start to the season, picking up just two points from their opening three fixtures against Fulham, Crystal Palace and Manchester United. Yet those results were forgotten thanks to goals from Luis Diaz (two), Harvey Elliott, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Roberto Firmino (two), Virgil van Dijk and Fabio Carvalho – as well as an own goal.
The record-equalling win leaves Liverpool eighth in the table. Jurgen Klopp’s side are back in Premier League action on Wednesday evening when they welcome Newcastle to Anfield. Here are the main talking points on a historic afternoon on Merseyside.
Liverpool’s electric start
At the beginning of the season, you’d have put your mortgage on Liverpool beating at least one of Fulham, Palace and Man Utd. After all, this is a team that dropped just four points from their final 18 Premier League games last term.
Everyone was surprised by Liverpool’s start to the campaign and there was a feeling that Saturday surely had to be their day. Especially as they were facing a Bournemouth side that failed to put up a fight against Manchester City and Arsenal.
Klopp’s side were out to reaffirm their title credentials and made the perfect start to the game. In just the third minute, Firmino found Diaz in the box with a brilliant delivery. The Colombian was on hand to nod the ball into the net. Easy-peasy.
Any lingering nerves were quelled three minutes later. Diaz was at the heart of the move again, using his fancy feet to find Elliott on the wing. He gave possession to Mohamed Salah, who picked out Firmino in space on the edge of the box.
The Brazilian failed to get the ball under his spell and it ran into the path of Elliott. That allowed the confident Englishman to curl an effort from distance into the bottom corner for his first goal in the Premier League. Not a bad way to open your account.
Another milestone for Henderson
Klopp was criticised on Monday night for selecting Jordan Henderson in the heart of Liverpool’s midfield three against Man Utd, with Elliott and James Milner playing either side. The skipper was back on the right of the three on Saturday afternoon and it showed.
The Reds dominated the midfield and looked a far better team with Fabinho in the middle, allowing Henderson to have more influence at both ends of the pitch. Elliott, meanwhile, was brilliant on the left of the three, causing problems from start to finish.
Although picking up three points is always the most important thing, Henderson would’ve been delighted to make his 400th appearance in the Premier League for Liverpool. Only Jamie Carragher (508 games) and Steven Gerrard (504) have featured more in the competition for the Reds. He deserves to join them in the gallery of greats.
Pick that one out
By the 28th minute, Liverpool were toying with Bournemouth. A nice one-two between Firmino and Alexander-Arnold allowed the latter to have a crack at goal from distance, with no one closing him down. It was a sublime hit, flying into the top corner.
Everything was going Liverpool’s way and it showed in the 31st minute when a deflected pass looped into the box for Firmino to stab home. He’d already completed a hat-trick of assists and now he had a goal to go with it. Quite the afternoon for the brilliant Brazilian.
There was enough time for another goal before half-time. A trademark corner from Andy Robertson found Van Dijk in the box and the Dutchman breezed past his marker to nod home. The travelling fans were starting to dread what the end result would be.
Hello, is that the Championship?
Oh Bournemouth. The Cherries were backed to finish bottom of the Premier League at the beginning of the season and, although it’s unlikely they’ll be 20th come the end of this weekend, it’s starting to feel a bit ominous for last season’s Championship runners-up.
They’ve not recruited well during the summer and probably need another defender, midfielder and striker if they’re to have any hope of staying up this season. Yes, they’ve had a tough start playing Arsenal, Man City and Liverpool – but it’s the manner of these defeats that should worry Bournemouth fans. They seem to be just accepting their fate.
Scott Parker’s side need to start showing some fight against the big boys.
Ain’t no stopping us now
Liverpool’s afternoon got even better after the break. Within seconds of the restart, Chris Mepham poked a troubling cross from Alexander-Arnold into his own net. Was a double-figure win now on the cards? The Reds were simply unstoppable.
Liverpool got their seventh in the 62nd minute. A quick corner allowed Robertson to deliver a curling ball from the right and it missed everyone in the box. Goalkeeper Mark Travers was forced into a save but could only parry the ball to Firmino for a tap in.
It went quiet for a while at Anfield and many were suspecting whether Klopp’s side were showing Bournemouth some mercy. Sadly for the visitors, that wasn’t the case. Substitute Fabio Carvalho scored his first goal for the club and Diaz got his second of the game.
Liverpool almost broke the record. James Milner went close and the hosts had a penalty shout turned out. In the end, if finished 9-0.
The afternoon could’ve been even better for the Reds if it wasn’t for a masterclass from Erling Haaland. The Norwegian striker scored a hat-trick to help Liverpool’s title rivals Man City recover from two goals down against Crystal Palace to win 4-2 at the Etihad.
Yet it’s still a day to remember for Liverpool fans and another wonderful chapter in Klopp’s magical Merseyside story. It’s also just what they needed to kick-start their campaign.