Bournemouth 0-4 Liverpool: Mohamed Salah nets wonderful hat-trick as Reds race to Premier League summit
The Egyptian well and truly answered any remaining critics with three goals at the Vitality, including a brilliant solo effort
Mohamed Salah tormented Bournemouth with a stunning hat-trick as Liverpool went top of the Premier League with a 4-0 victory at the Vitality Stadium.
The imperious forward took his personal tally to 10 league goals as Jurgen Klopp’s men equalled their club-record run of 17 Premier League games unbeaten.
Salah might have received a slice of luck with his first, scoring from an offside position, however there was nothing fortunate about the goals that would follow.
The Egyptian kept his footing despite a rake on his Achilles to slot away his second, before demonstrating magnificent balance and composure to complete his hat-trick.
A Steve Cook own-goal, Liverpool’s third, compounded a miserable afternoon for the defender as the Cherries slumped to a fifth defeat in six league games.
Eyes now turn to west London, where Manchester City will be forced to respond away at Chelsea now that Liverpool are a point ahead of them at the league’s summit.
Liverpool punished Bournemouth’s early sluggishness when Salah tucked home from Roberto Firmino’s spilled shot, but replays confirmed the Egypt hitman was offside.
The goal stood, much to Bournemouth’s chagrin, and some of that ire perhaps accounted for the home side’s upswing in composure and performance up until the break.
A startled Nathan Ake should have buried a fine chance when a looping corner dropped to him at point-blank range at the far post.
Instead the Dutch defender connected only with fresh air, and the ball bobbled to safety.
Junior Stanislas’ hands raced immediately to his head when he overhit a return pass that should have set Joshua King clear, but instead rolled harmlessly out wide.
Alisson Becker then escaped without punishment for upending King in the area when climbing high but failing to reach a hoisted ball into his box.
King stayed down under the heavy clattering, leaving referee Roger East to halt play so the Norway striker could receive treatment.
Bournemouth could be forgiven for feeling aggrieved at not being allowed a pot-shot at Alisson’s unguarded net. Instead play restarted with Andy Robertson booting a drop-ball all the way back to Asmir Begovic.
Liverpool killed any hope of a home recovery straight after the break though, the ruthless Salah shaking off that crude challenge from Cook before angling home in style.
Bournemouth’s hefty loss deepened when Cook lost his bearings and unwittingly flicked into his own net on the turn. Such a finish would have been toasted at the other end; instead it merely encapsulated a tough afternoon for both defender and hosts.
Salah then sealed his fine hat-trick, Cook slipping in confusion with the Egypt striker turning Begovic inside and out before tapping home.
READY FOR BARCA
Spurs warm up for Barcelona clash with convincing win over Leicester
HOLE LOT OF PAIN
West Ham forward shows off horrific foot injury after Crystal Palace win
Chelsea and police exploring claims of racist abuse aimed at Man City star
‘I cause problems’ – West Ham star wants new deal after returning to team
Chelsea stun Manchester City to keep Liverpool top of the Premier League
Leicester v Spurs: Maguire and Kane on the bench for clash at the King Power
Leicester vs Tottenham: preview, team news, confirmed line-ups, plus more
Championship Review: Norwich stay top, as Ipswich remain rooted to bottom
The technical storage or access is strictly necessary for the legitimate purpose of enabling the use of a specific service explicitly requested by the subscriber or user, or for the sole purpose of carrying out the transmission of a communication over an electronic communications network.
The technical storage or access is necessary for the legitimate purpose of storing preferences that are not requested by the subscriber or user.
The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for statistical purposes.The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for anonymous statistical purposes. Without a subpoena, voluntary compliance on the part of your Internet Service Provider, or additional records from a third party, information stored or retrieved for this purpose alone cannot usually be used to identify you.
The technical storage or access is required to create user profiles to send advertising, or to track the user on a website or across several websites for similar marketing purposes.