Liverpool built on their derby demolition of Everton and continued their winning Premier League run after dispatching Bournemouth 3-0 at the Vitality Stadium.
Jürgen Klopp made seven changes to the side that featured midweek against Everton. Alisson, Joe Gomez, Jordan Henderson, Naby Keïta, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah all returned to the lineup as they replaced Adrián, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gini Wijnaldum, Adam Lallana, Xherdan Shaqiri, Sadio Mané and Divock Origi.
Liverpool started the brightest of the two teams as they hassled and harried the deep-lying Bournemouth 4-4-2 at every possible opportunity.
The Reds edged out the first chance of the game through Salah as he tried to curl the ball into the top corner from just inside the box. The Egyptian’s attempt tested Aaron Ramsdale but provided no more than catching practice for the 21-year-old.
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As the half ticked on Liverpool continued to dominate the game, however, the home side still looked a threat on the counterattack and had bags of pace in the form of both Ryan Fraser and Callum Wilson who showed the potential to trouble the Liverpool backline.
In fact, a quick Bournemouth counterattack gave Virgil van Dijk another chance to show his defensive importance to the Reds as the Dutchman slid in expertly to clear the danger as former Liverpool frontman Dominic Solanke ran through on goal.
Unfortunately for Bournemouth, their Dutch defensive stalwart Nathan Aké, who had just completed a similar challenge to deny Salah, was forced off after injuring his hamstring during the challenge.
Eddie Howe replaced his star defender with Jack Simpson for his first start of the season, and the young centre back was not on for long until his side conceded.
Similarly to one of Origi’s goals midweek, a long ball behind the opposition defence released Oxlade-Chamberlain who poked the ball past the advancing Ramsdale with his first touch.
An inch-perfect ball forward by the skipper and an equally brilliant touch by Chamberlain who is on the scoresheet for the first time in the Premier League since January 2018. 1-0 Liverpool after 35 minutes.
Unfortunately for the Reds, their first goal was immediately followed by an injury to Dejan Lovren who was replaced by Alexander-Arnold minutes before the half-time break.
Despite the bad news, Liverpool were adamant to go into the break in high spirits as Salah pulled off one of the assists of the season to tee up Naby Keïta for his first Premier League goal since April.
The Guinean midfielder drove at the Bournemouth defence before laying the ball off to Salah and continuing his run into the box. The Egyptian showed his strength as he held off three defenders with his back to goal and produced a magnificent backheel to feed Keïta who poked the ball expertly past Ramsdale. 2-0 Liverpool after 44 minutes.
Minutes later a concerned Eddie Howe made his way down the tunnel for half time still reeling from the injury to Aké and the prospect of a fifth defeat in a row.
The Reds continued their fine first half form in the second as they netted the third goal of the game shortly into the half.
A mistake at the back by Simpson saw the youngster give the ball away to Keïta in an advanced position. The number eight charged at the Bournemouth backline before slipping Salah through on goal who calmly dispatched the ball into the bottom corner of the net.
After 54 minutes Liverpool had their third and Salah had his first away goal of the season.
Following the third goal Liverpool continued to dominate possession as Klopp’s men attempted to kill the game and conserve energy ahead of their busy Christmas period.
With the victory looking all but confirmed Klopp turned to his bench in the 75th minute as Curtis Jones was introduced for his Premier League debut.
Klopp’s men continued to knock the ball around the pitch as the minutes ticked by, with the newly introduced Jones impressing in the few minutes he had, keeping the ball well and showing off his dribbling ability as Liverpool saw out the half.
The Reds now move 11 points clear at the summit of the Premier League and are next in action on Tuesday away at Red Bull Salzburg where they will aim to confirm their advancement into the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League.