Three talking points as rampant Liverpool swept past Bournemouth
Liverpool jumped back into the top four of the Premier League after cruising past a sorry Bournemouth side at the Vitality Stadium. Two goals in six first-half minutes from Philippe Coutinho and Dejan Lovren put the visitors in control, a position further enhanced when Mohamed Salah netted on the stroke of half-time.
The Cherries were completely shell-shocked and although they ensured it didn’t resemble a cricket score, Roberto Firmino still had time to add a fourth goal in the second half, condemning the hosts to their heaviest defeat of the season. Here are three talking points from a one-sided encounter on the south coast…
Liverpool return to winning ways in style
After back-to-back draws in the top-flight, this was a welcome return to winning ways for the Reds, who had temporarily slipped out of the Champions League positions. The gulf in class between the two teams was evident from the first whistle, as Liverpool bossed proceedings and created opening after opening.
While Bournemouth certainly didn’t do themselves any favours, few teams would have coped with the Reds’ attacking weaponry. Much has been written about the ‘Fab Four’ and although Sadio Mane was omitted from the starting XI, the other three all scored as Liverpool ripped the Cherries to shreds. The understanding between them is close to telepathic and Jurgen Klopp will have been delighted with their performances.
Defensively, the Reds were hardly tested and Simon Mignolet was virtually a spectator. Another positive was the late appearances of Adam Lallana and Danny Ings, who are back to full fitness. They provide Klopp with even more options ahead of a busy run of fixtures.
Dismal Bournemouth are in a relegation dogfight
In the corresponding fixture last season, Bournemouth produced a stunning comeback to win 4-3, having been 3-1 behind in the latter stages. There was to be no repeat this time.
Despite the summer arrivals of Jermain Defoe, Nathan Ake and Asmir Begovic, Bournemouth appear to have gone backwards. Now just one point above the drop-zone, there is no denying that Eddie Howe’s men are facing a battle to avoid the drop.
This was by far their poorest performance of the campaign. Worryingly, Bournemouth looked like they didn’t have a viable game-plan against Liverpool, despite the obvious attacking threat on offer.
Given everything he has achieved, there is still no suggestion Howe is under pressure to keep his job. But he has serious questions to answer in the coming days. With Manchester City next, the Cherries may find themselves in the bottom three at Christmas.
Joe Gomez enhances his burgeoning reputation
His performance will probably have gone unnoticed by many, but Joe Gomez once again underlined how quickly he has developed into an top-class player. Against Bournemouth, he occupied the right-back spot, although he is versatile enough to play in any position across the defence. For England recently, he lined-up in a back three and impressed.
Gomez was not severely tested by a limp Bournemouth outfit that struggled to exert any pressure on their opponents. But when the youngster was called into action, he remained composed and his decision-making was always spot on.
At just 20 years old, the former Charlton starlet, who joined the Reds in 2015, has a very bright future ahead of him and could make a big impact not only for Liverpool, but for England at next year’s World Cup in Russia.