Liverpool romped home to a comfortable 3-0 victory away at Bournemouth in the Premier League on Saturday as the Reds maintained their comfortable lead atop the standings.
Having rested Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah in the 5-2 victory over Everton in the midweek derby fixture, Jurgen Klopp gave Sadio Mane a breather this time around, with both Salah and Firmino returning to the playing eleven and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain playing down the left in a front-three.
The Reds started the game on the front foot and enjoyed plenty of possession but neither team managed to carve out any clear-cut chances in the first 20 minutes or so.
Liverpool, though, opened the scoring midway through the first half at the 35th-minute mark just after Nathan Ake had been forced off the pitch due to an injury.
Jordan Henderson’s perfectly weighted lofted pass over the Bournemouth backline found the run of Oxlade-Chamberlain, who kept his eyes on the ball and beat Aaron Ramsdale with a neat finish to make it 1-0.
Things got even better for the visitors just at the stroke of the interval when Naby Keita made it 2-0 following some delightful link-up play with Mo Salah, who set up the Guinean with a gorgeous backheel.
Salah missed a gilt-edged opportunity to put the game beyond Bournemouth’s reach in the final minute of first-half injury-time but the Egyptian failed to put the ball into the net after Alexander-Arnold’s cross was flicked on by Firmino.
Liverpool, did, however, put the game to bed early in the second half when Salah managed to get his name on the scoresheet to make it 3-0 for Klopp’s side.
Keita returned the favour for the second goal with an incredible assist, threading the eye of a needle to play in Salah, who dinked the ball past an onrushing Ramsdale.
The game looked dead and buried after that and it was more a matter of damage control for Bournemouth, who never really managed to put the Reds under any sort of pressure and create any clear-cut opportunities to claw their way back into reckoning.
Ramsdale was called into action to deny Salah and Henderson in the latter stages of the game as Liverpool kept yet another clean-sheet to equal their tally of most wins (28) in a calendar year, matching a feat that they had achieved way back in 1987.
Here’s how some of the joyous Liverpool fans reacted to the 3-0 victory on Twitter:
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