Bournemouth 0-4 Liverpool: Reds continue relentless away form
Last Updated: 18/12/17 7:50am
Liverpool moved back into the top four with a scintillating attacking performance that blew away Bournemouth 4-0 on Super Sunday.
In a blistering display of skill, pace and ruthless finishing, Liverpool raced into a 3-0 half-time lead with strikes from Philippe Coutinho (20), Dejan Lovren (26) and Mo Salah (44), who was notching his 14th Premier League goal of the season already.
Roberto Firmino (66) added a fourth as there was to be no repeat of the Bournemouth comeback of last season in this fixture, where they won 4-3 after a rousing late rally.
After back-to-back draws at Anfield with Everton and West Brom, Jurgen Klopp's men jumped above Burnley and Arsenal with their fourth away win in a row - a run that has seen them score 16 goals. It tees up a tasty Premier League encounter at Arsenal on Friday night, live on Sky Sports.
The defeat was the Cherries' fifth home defeat this season and they are hovering above the relegation zone by just one point with an ominous trip to Manchester City next up in the Premier League.
Bournemouth: Begovic (6), Francis (5), Ake (5), Daniels (5), Smith (5), Surman (4), Pugh (5), L.Cook (4), Ibe (4), King (5), Defoe (5).
Subs: Fraser (6), Stanislas (6), S.Cook (6)
Liverpool: Mignolet (6), Gomez (7), Klavan (6), Lovren (7), Robertson (8), Wijnaldum (7), Oxlade-Chamberlain (8), Henderson (7), Coutinho (8), Salah (8), Firmino (8)
Subs: Lallana (7), Solanke (7), Ings (6)
Man of the Match: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Liverpool were quickly into their stride.
Coutinho already had fired a free-kick against the post when he dazzled the Vitality Stadium on 20 minutes with a sublime individual goal.
Linking with Andrew Robertson on the left, Coutinho skipped inside, sold a dummy to Simon Francis before rolling a low effort into the bottom corner.
Bournemouth had little answer to Liverpool's dominance and they fell two behind six minutes later. A corner which looked to be looping out for a goal kick was kept alive by Firmino and his poked cross was bravely headed home by Lovren - his first goal since October 2016.
Eddie Howe freshened up his midfield and attack, making five changes. There were recalls for Andrew Surman Lewis Cook, Jordon Ibe, Danny Pugh and Jermaine Defoe. Meanwhile, there were four changes for Jurgen Klopp. Back came Simon Mignolet, Joe Gomez, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jordan Henderson.
Bournemouth thought they were back in it when Jermain Defoe skipped through one-on-one with Simon Mignolet but the usually deadly marksman struck the post. It was a crucial moment in the game as five minutes later, Liverpool were three up.
Salah took Charlie Daniels down the line before twisting back inside and firing a low effort into the net. With the goal, the Premier League's top scorer became the first Liverpool player to score 20+ goals in a season (all competitions) since Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge both did so during the 2013/14 campaign.
There was no stopping the rampant Reds, who continued to swarm forward. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain struck the post after a fine tackle in midfield before Firmino did find the net on 66 minutes, flicking home Coutinho's wonderful cross.
Bournemouth had no answers to Liverpool's brilliance.
- Liverpool are the first team in top-flight history to have won four consecutive away games by a margin of at least three goals.
- Coutinho has been directly involved in 15 goals in his last 10 away games for Liverpool in all competitions (8 goals, 7 assists).
- Bournemouth conceded four goals in a Premier League home game for the first time since April 2016 (1-4 vs Chelsea).
- This was only the second time in the Premier League that all three players subbed off for Liverpool scored for them in the game - the other was against Newcastle in March 2008 (Jermaine Pennant, Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres).
Eddie Howe: We were in a relegation battle in our first season, our second season and it's the same this season," Howe said.
"That is the case for the majority of teams that aren't in the top six or seven places. The only thing that has changed is the perception and the expectation from everyone around us.
Jurgen Klopp: "I don't go home thinking 'Mo Salah - oh my god, how good is he' - that's not how it works.
He's a very important player for us - like the others. But it's easier for him than others at the moment to finish, hopefully it stays like this."
Man of the match - Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
The former Arsenal man is getting better week on week under Jurgen Klopp. While Coutinho and Salah continue to grab the headlines, Oxlade-Chamberlain is regaining his full fitness and becoming an integral part of Klopp's squad.
No player provided more key passes at the Vitality on Sunday, and he remained combative, going in for more duels than any other player. He still needs to play more games, but in this form, he will be hard to leave out.
Bournemouth face Chelsea in the Carabao Cup quarter-final on Wednesday while Liverpool are back in front of the Sky Sports cameras on Friday night, when they travel to north London to take on top-four rivals Arsenal.