Liverpool vs Bournemouth: Klopp’s nine-star Cherry stomp
Roberto Firmino had two goals and three assists as Liverpool’s inevitable return to the win column was an emphatic 9-0 clattering of hopeless Bournemouth at Anfield on Saturday.
The Reds demolished the Cherries in a juicing that began after three minutes and didn’t let up as a 5-0 halftime lead was nearly doubled despite a series of subs that introduced several teenagers and was without a half-dozen injured Liverpool stars.
Luis Diaz scored a pair of goals, joining Harvey Elliott, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Fabio Carvalho, Virgil van Dijk, and a Chris Mepham own goal. Kostas Tsimikas posted two assists in the win.
Liverpool now has five points through four games while Bournemouth has not scored in a Premier League match since surprising Aston Villa 2-0 on Opening Day. The Cherries have since lost 4-0 at Man City and 3-0 vs Arsenal.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Liverpool vs Bournemouth.
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What we learned from Liverpool vs Bournemouth
Liverpool is inevitable: Picking the Reds to win this was far from a longshot but getting an eyeful of Liverpool at its brightest was a reminder the rest of the league needed following a pair of unlucky draws and an entitled loss to Manchester United. Was there ever a single doubt that Klopp would awaken the club’s trophy quest?
Bournemouth can’t hang: The win against Aston Villa just looks so critical right now. While no one was expecting much from a run of Man City, Arsenal, and Liverpool, the Cherries have just done so little in delivering a combined 16-0 score line against their top-six foes.
Roberto Firmino begs a question: Jurgen Klopp has preferred to go in several other directions at center forward over the past season-plus, but Firmino was all over the pitch as the focal point of this dismantling of Bournemouth. Darwin Nunez is a stud and several Reds can serve as a false nine, but unless the Reds need Firmino as a piece in a swap deal, might Klopp be better served keeping the Brazilian at Anfield.
Liverpool’s system with its stars and its prospects was too much for Scott Parker’s Bournemouth. What else do you require?
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Stars of the show
Virgil van Dijk
Liverpool hosts Newcastle at 3pm ET Wednesday, getting a day’s more rest than their visitors, while Bournemouth hosts Wolves a half-hour earlier.
How to watch Liverpool vs Bournemouth live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 10 am ET, SaturdayOnline: Stream via Peacock Premium
Key storylines & star players
Liverpool could be without as many as seven first- or second-choice players on Saturday, with the centers of defense and midfield decimated by injuries. Ibrahima Konate and Joel Matip, who are expected to spend all season in a three-man rotation with Virgil van Dijk, are both out. Thiago Alcantara and Naby Keita, for both of whom injuries have marred their respective Liverpool careers, bring something very different to the midfield, but they could both be out just the same. To compound those issues, Fabinho was also dropped from the starting lineup for the game at Old Trafford before coming on for Jordan Henderson on the hour mark. 36-year-old James Milner also started alongside 19-year-old Harvey Elliott.
As for Bournemouth, the opening day of the season was good fun as the Cherries beat Aston Villa 2-0, before taking back-to-back bludgeonings at the hands of Manchester City (4-0) and Arsenal (3-0). Obviously, the fixture makers haven’t let up on Bournemouth, who will have faced half of the big-six sides just four games into the season at the final whistle on Saturday.
Liverpool team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Ibrahima Konate (knee), Thiago Alcantara (thigh), Darwin Nuñez (suspension), Diogo Jota (thigh), Joel Matip (groin), Curtis Jones (calf), Calvin Ramsay (undisclosed), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (hamstring), Naby Keita (undisclosed), Caoimhin Kelleher (groin)
Bournemouth team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: David Brooks (fitness), Joseph Rothwell (thigh), Ryan Fredericks (calf) | QUESTIONABLE: Dominic Solanke (ankle), Junior Stanislas (groin)