Liverpool matched the record for the biggest ever Premier League win and got their first victory of the season with a 9-0 demolition of Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon. Jurgen Klopp’s side emphatically dismissed claims of an Anfield crisis, leading 2-0 after just six minutes and 5-0 at half-time, and added four more for good measure in the second 45. Express Sport looks at five things we learned from the match.
Crisis, you say? Just tell that to these Liverpool players. They matched a club record and Premier League record with the scoreline here and had six different goalscorers (as well as Chris Mepham’s own goal) on the scoresheet.
The Reds were utterly relentless and showed absolutely no mercy to the Premier League newcomers. “We want 10! We want 10!” was the late cry from the Kop. They pushed for that record-breaking 10th but couldn’t quite get it.
Yet this was a clear message from Liverpool, who had been widely mocked after their first three games. They aren’t ready to concede defeat in the Premier League title chase just yet, regardless of their five-point gap to champions Manchester City.
Firmino unlocks the attack
Roberto Firmino had gone 20 Premier League matches at Anfield before this without a goal. After 31 minutes here, he had a goal and three assists. When Firmino ticks, Liverpool tick. He also got his second and Liverpool’s seventh on 62 minutes.
The Brazilian had been poor against Fulham and Manchester United in his previous two starts, and indeed was underwhelming in several matches last season, but was significantly improved here. It was as though he had rediscovered the 2018-19 version of himself.
Firmino can still be the glue for the attack, as he was here with his clever link-up play and creativity. He was not the only player who drastically upped their level for the visit of the Cherries but he was perhaps the most influential. Now Liverpool must find a way to make sure they get this version of Firmino more often.
Bournemouth’s vital run
It all started so well for Bournemouth with a 2-0 defeat of Aston Villa at home on the opening weekend. Since then, Scott Parker’s side have lost 4-0 away to Man City, 3-0 at home to Arsenal and 9-0 at Liverpool here. Their goal difference is now -14.
Realistically, that three-game streak was a run Bournemouth would not have expected points from. Instead it is their upcoming run – Wolves (H), Nottingham Forest (A), Brighton (H), Newcastle (A), Brentford (H), Leicester (H), Fulham (A), Southampton (H), West Ham (H) – which will be crucial.
The Cherries desperately need some positive results and some momentum if they don’t want to suffer relegation back to the Championship. And they must sort out their porous back-line. Defeats of this manner cannot be allowed to continue, for team morale as much as anything else.
Liverpool still need a signing
This was a terrific, and much-needed, win for Liverpool make no mistake. But for Klopp the heavily one-sided scoreline will not brush over the understrength bench. Of the nine men in reserve, two were goalkeepers and three were outfield players without a single first-team appearance to their name.
Their best attacking option was Fabio Carvalho, the 19-year-old yet to start a match for Liverpool. Bobby Clark – who had not made a senior appearance for the club before this – was the other forward on the bench.
Klopp of course still has 10 players to welcome back from injury and suspension but the injury record of some of those players suggests they will likely be consigned to more lay-offs later this term, especially given the brutal nature of the fixture schedule this season. Klopp admitted on the eve of this contest that a new midfielder is needed and 9-0 win or not, that remains the case.
Mo Salah misses out
Liverpool scored nine goals but Mohamed Salah ended without a single goal or assist. Seriously. The man who directly contributed to 37 Premier League goals last season was unable to get a goal or set up a team-mate despite such a one-sided affair.
He looked a man on a mission to rectify that in the second half but the Egyptian was ultimately left frustrated. Salah flashed one over the bar from close range late on just when it looked like he might get on the scoresheet. He’ll have plenty of flashbacks over a first-half chance he should’ve tucked away, too.
His quest to equal Steven Gerrard as Liverpool’s second-highest ever Premier League goalscorer continues. He’s also now four goals behind Man City’s Erling Haaland in the race for the Golden Boot – watch out Newcastle.