Talking Points: Bournemouth 0 – 4 Liverpool FC

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All photo credit to LFC's official website

Jack Hallows runs over the main talking points from Liverpool’s 4-0 win over Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon that put them top of the table. 

There may have been worries after Klopp’s Reds were streaky against Everton a week ago and looked slow until going behind against Burnley midweek but they were on fire against Bournemouth yesterday afternoon.

Mohamed Salah’s hat-trick and Steve Cook’s own goal condemned Eddie Howe’s side to their joint heaviest defeat of the season, rewarding the Reds with three points and seeing them leapfrog Man City to top spot on the ladder.

Here’s the main focal points from the game.

Mohamed Salah: The world’s worst one season wonder? 

Mohamed Salah is surely the worst ever one season wonder to grace the Premier League.

The Egyptian has admittedly not quite been at his best so far this season, failing to replicate the scintillating form that saw him score a record goal tally for a 38 game Premier League season last campaign.

Despite this, the former Roma and Chelsea forward is still on the scoresheet more often than not and his hat-trick against Bournemouth put him equal with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on top of the Premier League goalscoring charts with 10.

His first was a classic poacher finish, the Egyptian reacting quickest after Firmino’s venomous volley was spilled by Begovic.

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The second and third however were pure class, Salah bursting through on both occasions and riding a vicious challenge from Cook for his second before rounding Begovic not once but twice for his second.

He may still not quite be at the level we saw last season – and his form in big games could definitely be improved – but the Egyptian certainly looks to be firing once again and if you’re still labelling him a one season wonder well then I feel sorry for you.

New defence, same result

Liverpool’s defensive record has been superb this season with a general back five of Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Virgil van Dijk and Robertson proving to be almost impossible for most opponents to crack.

It was a bit of a new-look/make-shift back five against the Cherries however, with Milner slotting in at right back and Matip filling the second centre-back spot.

New personnel? No problem it turns out!

The Reds kept their 10th clean sheet of the Premier League season against the Cherries and limited them to even less than a handful of opportunities to get a shot on target.

Klopp’s men now haven’t conceded a goal in the Premier League since the trip to Arsenal over a month ago and have allowed the ball into their net just six times over the entire season!

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From one of the worst defensive sides in the league just two years ago, to one of the best this season. The magic of Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool!

Milner’s 500

Making his 500th appearance in Premier League football was Mr Reliable himself, James Milner.

The Englishman has been not only a model professional during his time at Liverpool but also one of our most important players for the most part.

One of the top assisters in Klopp’s first season at the club, Milner was then forced to fill in at left back for an entire campaign in 2016/17, not complaining once despite it not being anywhere close to his favourite position.

It was felt that at the start of the 2017/18 season his career at Liverpool was probably done for, only for the 32-year old to prove everyone wrong, set a new assist record for a single Champions League campaign and become a key cog in Klopp’s midfield.

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This has only continued into the new campaign with the former City and Leeds man featuring 15 times in 16 league games so far, impressing in most and scoring three goals in the process.

It was a fitting tribute to a man who gives everything for this team only to very rarely get the recognition that the likes of Salah or Firmino do, that Mohamed Salah palmed off the man of the match award despite his three goals, instead preferring to give it to Milner in the post-match celebrations.

Fab & Nab

Incredibly, it has taken until December for Liverpool fans to get a glimpse of midfield new-boys Fabinho and Naby Keïta playing in the same midfield.

The pair – who cost a combined £100m – had been given the slow and steady introduction treatment from Klopp so far but had been impressive when called upon, especially in recent weeks.

Fabinho looks every bit the defensive midfielder that Liverpool have yearned for over the past decade while Keïta is so classy on the ball and tenacious off it that it almost feels like the Reds are playing with 12 instead of 11.

With James Milner likely to be rotated in with Trent Alexander-Arnold at right back over the coming festive period and English duo Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana looking far from their best of late, there could be a number of real opportunities for ‘Fab and Nab’ to cement their places as concrete starters for the Reds.

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Keïta also showed a different string to his bow against the Cherries, playing out on the left hand side of the supporting three behind Mohamed Salah rather than in the central berth he is known to prefer.

The switch up likely only came about due to Sadio Mané’s foot injury but it’s good to know that Klopp has an alternative for that left sided role if he needs one when previously it looked the one position in which he was truly short changed.

Top of the league, unbeaten and on our way

16 games, 13 wins, 3 draw, top of the league.

It doesn’t get much better than that folks!

I will generally never send thanks to Chelsea Football Club but I have to do so on this occasion after Sarri’s men scored a 2-0 victory over Guardiola’s Manchester City, inflicting the Citizens first league defeat of the season and leaving Liverpool as the only ‘so-far-invincible’ side in the league.

The Reds won’t have any time to breathe and soak it all in however, with a massive must win game at home to Napoli in the Champions League coming up midweek, before Jose Mourinho’s bus comes rolling on into Anfield on Sunday afternoon.

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If the Reds can apply maximum effort in both of these fixtures to take maximum points towards both their Champions League and Premier League tallies, that puts them in an incredible position roughly halfway through the season with almost a full week to prepare for a trip to Wolverhampton.

Things are looking very, very, very good for Klopp’s men right now and long may they continue to do so.

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