Magic Salah sends Liverpool top of the table
- Salah scores hat trick, now has 42 PL goals since start of last season
- 5th defeat in six for Bournemouth
- Liverpool momentarily top of the table
- Five wins on the trot for Liverpool
Liverpool remain unbeaten after 16 games of the season and beat Bournemouth 4-0 at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday, with Mohamed Salah back to his clinical best after a midweek rest.
Jurgen Klopp reverted to his strongest possible lineup for the tricky test away at Bournemouth and Salah struck in the first half (although he was offside) and added two more in the second half as Roberto Firmino assisted on two of them. Salah’s hat trick secured Liverpool’s best-ever start to a top-flight campaign at this point of a season.
Bournemouth’s Steve Cook also scored an amazing own goal, as the Cherries were totally outclassed despite a few calls for penalty kicks in the second half.
With the win Liverpool momentarily went top of the table on 42 points, while Bournemouth remain on 23 points.
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An even start to the match saw Liverpool push forward whenever they could, but Bournemouth had two great chances early on.
Josh King dragged an effort wide, while David Brooks forced Alisson into a smart stop at his near post.
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Liverpool did take the lead before the break, as a wonderful piece of link-up play between Roberto Firmino and Salah saw the former shoot at goal as Asmir Begovic could only parry the effort.
Salah, who was marginally offside according to replays, was on hand to slot home the rebound and put Liverpool 1-0 up. Alisson clattered into King in a nasty collision before the break as Bournemouth pushed to get back into the game.
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Liverpool had the perfect start to the second half as Firmino and Salah combined again.
The latter ran towards goal and somehow stayed on his feet as Steve Cook hacked away at him, before he slotted a calm finish into the far corner for his and Liverpool’s second of the game.
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Bournemouth had two shouts for penalty kicks in the second half as Virgil van Dijk appeared to accidentally handle in the box, while King went down but there did not appear to be contact from Alisson.
Cook then scored a memorable own goal (not for him), as he flicked home Andrew Robertson’s cross with Sadio Mane lurking to make it 3-0.
And Salah saved his best to last as he latched on to a long ball from Adam Lallana, rounded Begovic, twice, and then cheekily tapped home to complete his hat trick and make it 4-0.
Salah trotted off the pitch with the match ball at the final whistle as nonchalantly as he walked on it at the star. After some criticism so far this season, his campaign has lift-off.