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Bournemouth 0, Liverpool 4: First Thoughts

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Four goals and a clean sheet on the road. What more could you ask for?

AFC Bournemouth v Liverpool - Premier League Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Bournemouth 0:
Liverpool 4: Coutinho 20’, Lovren 26’, Salah 44’, Firmino 66’

  • Pre-match Thought: Please, Fowler, just let us win. Jurgen Klopp rolls out a fairly strong line-up, but still 4 changes from the disappointing midweek draw to West Brom. Simon Mignolet comes on for Loris Karius, Trent Alexander-Arnold makes way for Joe Gomez, and Emre Can and Sadio Mane are off for Jordan Henderson and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, respectively. A win puts Liverpool back into fourth place with a big showdown against Arsenal looming large on the horizon.
  • CLOSE! Roberto Firmino wins a free kick just outside of the box, and Philippe Coutinho nearly curls in the subsequent free kick, hitting the woodwork instead of the top corner.
  • I see Jordon Ibe going with the unconventional first name on the back of the kit. Bold strategy.
  • GOAL! Phil has been threatening early, and he finally gets the break through he (and this team) deserves. He makes a long, meandering run past static defenders into the box, and slots it with a low shot to the near corner.
  • GOAL!! Firmino just about keeps a corner in play, and Dejan Lovren is there to nod home a header, and Liverpool are now cruising.
  • CLOSE! The force must be with us today. Jermain Defoe is played in straight through the heart of the Liverpool (for lack of a better word) defense, but his shot hits the inside of the post and bounces away harmlessly.
  • GOAL!!! Mohamed Salah makes it three! The Egyptian latched on to a through ball, drove straight past his (for lack of a better word) marker, and finished with a classy left-footed curler to the far side of goal.
  • Halftime Thought: This, dear friends, is why teams do not come out to play football with Liverpool. That said, besides Defoe’s big chance, Bournemouth haven’t created much on the other side, and it’s hard to see a way back for the home side at the moment.
  • Bournemouth come out and actually control a majority of the proceedings to start the second half, but Liverpool still remain very dangerous on the counter. Oxlade-Chamberlain nearly gets in on the action, winning the ball back up high with a great tackle, driving into the box, and hitting the post with his shot.
  • Mignolet hasn’t been called on much today, but was alert to the danger as Defoe tried to beat him far post with shot from close range.
  • GOAL! Firmino gets his name on the score sheet! Coutinho sends in a great cross from just outside of the area, and Firmino nods a glancing header goal-ward. The pace generated from the cross all but ensured that the header would be next-to-impossible to save.
  • Adam Lallana is Liverpool’s first sub of the night, coming on for Mohamed Salah as the traveling Kop cannot decide whose name to sing louder. Salah extended his lead atop the Premier League scoring charts, with 14 goals to second place Harry Kane’s 12.
  • And Lallana immediately makes his mark on the game, earning a yellow card for a horribly mistimed tackle just outside the box.
  • Dominic Solanke comes on for Firmino, who has just been everywhere tonight.
  • Klopp makes his final sub of the night, Coutinho making way for Danny Ings...who almost makes an immediate impact! His first touch is a shot that goes just wide of the target, ruffling the side-netting.
  • Final Whistle Thought: A great—and necessary!—response to a disappointing couple of results. No other side has put 4 past Bournemouth this season, so this has to be seen as a good result. The win puts Liverpool squarely back in the Top 4, a point clear of Arsenal, and 3 clear of Tottenham. Now, time to beat Arsenal in their place, and really gain a foothold in the race for next year’s Champions League.

We'll be back shortly to take an in-depth look at everything that happened in today's game with the full recap. Until then, let us know your take on the ups and downs of the match in the comments, and if you haven't already, join the community on the Liverpool Offside, where we'll have full coverage and lively in-game discussion for every match this season.