Liverpool: 'Spot-On' Reds Defeat Bournemouth
Merseysiders hit four without reply on the South Coast...
After three successive games at Anfield, including frustrating back-to-back draws in the Premier League, Liverpool continued their impressive recent away form with a comfortable win over AFC Bournemouth on Sunday afternoon.
Those who made the lengthy trip to a chilly Vitality Stadium were rewarded by a fine all-round performance from the Merseysiders, for whom there were impressive performers from front to back.
The fast starting visitors twice went close to breaking the deadlock inside 10 minutes as Coutinho struck a post with a free-kick and Salah curled over.
Bournemouth were also showing plenty of attacking intent at this stage and a powerful drive from distance by former Reds wideman Jordan Ibe fortunately went straight at Simon Mignolet.
The goal that the open nature of the play suggested would soon arrive duly came in the 20th minute when Coutinho, aided by the decoy of a lung-busting, overlapping run by Andrew Robertson, brilliantly cut in from the left and slotted past Asmir Begovic.
Salah, with a carbon copy of his disappointing earlier effort, and Roberto Firmino quickly threatened a second before Dejan Lovren delivered it via a brave diving header after Firmino had hooked a corner back into the danger area.
For a period Liverpool looked like they might run away with proceedings but the hosts had a good spell around the half hour mark and should have had a goal back when Jermain Defoe broke free and beat Mignolet but not the woodwork.
Despite their improvement, the Cherries were indebted to Begovic for keeping them in it as the former Chelsea shot-stopper brilliantly denied both Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Salah.
The Bosnian international could do nothing though as the game headed into first-half stoppage time and Salah got the better of Charlie Daniels for the umpteenth time but on this occasion followed it up by keeping his left-footed effort down and on target.
Substitute Ryan Fraser flashed a shot wide for the hosts in the 55th minute but the second period had a much more circumspect feel about it.
At the other end a determined run by Oxlade-Chamberlain, who was one of the many standout performers, ended with the England man becoming the latest player to hit the frame of the goal.
Defoe worked Mignolet soon after but the tempo had clearly dropped from both sides, particularly the visitors who were more than happy to curtail their usual attacking instincts to ensure Bournemouth were not gifted a route back into the contest.
Liverpool still had enough about them going forward to make it 4-0 in the 65th minute though; Firmino heading home a Coutinho cross from close-range.
With the three points now definitely secure, both Salah and Firmino were soon withdrawn as manager Jürgen Klopp began to turn his attention to Friday's trip to top-four rivals Arsenal.
More goals should still have arrived though with both Oxlade-Chamberlain and Danny Ings failing to capitalise on presentable openings and Dominic Solanke testing Begovic during a dominant final 10 minutes.
It mattered little however, and the 4-0 victory makes it four away league wins on the bounce for Liverpool, all by at least a three goal margin.
Klopp, analysing the match and his side's performance, told a post-match press conference: "We were from the first second really, really spot-on. I liked the mix-up of being patient in different moments and being very lively in others. Very good organisation, defending, approach, idea and it worked out.
"It was clear you cannot create chances minute by minute but we scored a fantastic first goal, which I would like to give 40 per cent to Andy Robertson because if he doesn't make the run in Phil's back then I think this version is completely different, but of course it was fantastic of Phil.
"Roberto forced the second goal, a fantastic third goal and even though it looked a little bit like offside a second ago when I saw it, a fantastic fourth goal.
"We controlled the game in the second half, came not really in trouble. Bournemouth had only one real chance and of course, we had a lot more than we scored so I think it's pretty fair that they didn't use the one. That's happened really often against us.
"So I am really happy about the full package we showed today. It was difficult so we are really satisfied."
The three points lift Liverpool back above Arsenal into fourth ahead of their meeting at the Emirates later this week.
So that's what both us and Klopp thought about the game, how about you? Let us know your views below...
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