Liverpool equaled the Premier League’s record for the biggest victory on Saturday, beating Bournemouth 9-0 at Anfield.
Having begun the season with two draws and a defeat, Liverpool started rapidly against newly-promoted Bournemouth, Luis Díaz and Harvey Elliott both scoring inside six minutes.
Trent Alexander-Arnold’s stunning long-range strike made it three inside half an hour, before goals from Roberto Firmino and Virgil van Dijk meant Liverpool led by five at half time.
After the break, an own goal from Chris Mepham, Firmino’s second, Fabio Carvalho’s first Liverpool goal and Díaz’s second of the game capped off a goal-ridden afternoon for the hosts.
The record nine-goal margin of victory had been achieved three times before — twice by Manchester United and once by Leicester City — and helps kickstart Liverpool’s stuttering opening to the new season.
For Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, he called it a “perfect football afternoon” after a few weeks of poor results, saying the big win was “needed.”
“We were not happy with the way we played; we had good moments in nearly all the games,” Klopp said. “We showed things which we are strong at and other things where we have to improve and that’s what we had to do today, but you cannot make a list and take them all off the list step by step.
“You just have to give the game a proper direction and that’s why I loved the start today so much. We didn’t hesitate, we didn’t hold anything back, we just went into the game full flying, put them under pressure, had the battles in the right areas in the box, around the box, bodies in the box, second ball situations, go again, and these kinds of things.”
After two trophies last season and coming so close to two more, hopes are high for Liverpool this season.
And those flames were only fanned in the season-opening Community Shield against Manchester City, as Liverpool comfortably beat the reigning Premier League champions.
However, when the season finally kicked off, results have been stuttering.
It opened with a battling draw against newly-promoted Fulham before having to settle for a draw at home with Crystal Palace — star new signing Darwin Nunez was also sent off in his home debut for a headbutt on Crystal Palace defender Joachim Andersen.
And things went from bad to worse with a stunning 2-1 defeat to Manchester United in its third game, with its bitter rivals coming into to the game off the back of a terrible start to the season.
Just when issues looked to be piling up, Liverpool answered in emphatic fashion.
Brazil international Firmino was instrumental all afternoon, with two goals and three assists. Klopp said the 30-year-old had a “massive game” against Bournemouth.
Liverpool achieved a club first in the first half by scoring five goals in the opening 45 minutes, the first time that’s happened in a Premier League game for the Reds.
In reaching the nine-goal winning margin, Liverpool matched the record set by Manchester United against Ipswich in 1995 and Southampton last year, and by Leicester against Southampton in 2019.
According to Opta, it also matched Liverpool’s biggest margin of victory in its league history, equaling the record set against Crystal Palace in 1989 and Rotherham Town in 1896.
After a disappointing result against Manchester United last time out, Klopp expressed his delight at his side’s ability to bounce back emphatically against Bournemouth.
“This game was us, a little bit more us. We should have won this game, so when I don’t say that about all games against United … we lost against them in different circumstances,” he said.
Klopp continued: “But it’s not out of this world that we lose at United 2-1, especially when we don’t perform on our highest level, that can happen and it’s very likely to happen. For today I wanted the start we showed and then the rest … we cannot give guarantees for results, but what we expect from ourselves is that we give guarantees for performance levels and today we started.”
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.
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.
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.