Harvey Elliott curled in his first Premier League goal for Liverpool
Liverpool equalled the biggest victory in Premier League history as they kick-started their season in spectacular fashion by thrashing newly promoted Bournemouth at Anfield.
Manager Jurgen Klopp had described the beginning to his side’s campaign as a “false start” after two draws and Monday night’s defeat at Manchester United, but the Reds responded in truly stunning manner.
Manchester United have achieved that margin of victory twice, against Ipswich in 1995 and Southampton last year, and Leicester City did likewise against the Saints in 2019.
Liverpool got off to the perfect start with two goals in the opening five minutes against the Cherries to set a raucous Anfield rocking.
Luis Diaz rose to head home and Harvey Elliott curled in his first top-flight goal with a sublime strike from outside the box.
Full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold thumped a long-range shot into the top corner, with all three goals assisted by Roberto Firmino.
The Brazil forward went from provider to scorer on the half-hour mark when he acrobatically converted from inside the six-yard box and Virgil van Dijk headed in the fifth from a corner – all before half-time.
It went from bad to worse for Scott Parker’s men in the first minute of the second half when Chris Mepham stretched to divert the ball into his own net and Firmino poked home the seventh of the afternoon.
Summer signing Fabio Carvalho volleyed in with eight minutes left for number eight and Diaz headed in the ninth to complete an incredible, historic win.
For Bournemouth, the rout was their third consecutive league defeat without scoring a goal after beating Aston Villa in their opening game.
Rampant Reds respond in style
It had been suggested Liverpool have looked lethargic – and that they are missing forward Sadio Mane, now at Bayern Munich – after failing to win any of their opening three games.
Draws against Fulham and Crystal Palace were followed up by a sluggish showing in the 2-1 loss at Old Trafford at the start of the week and questions were raised about the title credentials of a Reds side that ended last season on two low points.
An extensive injury list – notably in midfield – and big summer signing Darwin Nunez has not helped, and Liverpool responded to the doubters with a breathtaking showing to which the visitors had no reply.
The Reds had a total of 19 shots at goal, 12 of which were on target – with a record-equalling nine ending up in the back of the net.
It was the first time they had racked up that number since 1989, when they did so against Crystal Palace in the old First Division.
Klopp’s side had conceded the first goal in their last seven Premier League games but Diaz set them on their way after just two minutes with a well-timed header.
The goal will have relieved some tension for what would have been a nervous crowd after the side’s modest start to the season.
Teenager Elliott has featured in all four league games this season and opened his league account for the Reds with a delightful curling effort into the bottom corner before Alexander-Arnold smashed into the corner from outside the box.
Firmino ended a barren run of 20 league games with a league goal at Anfield with an opportunistic strike, while Van Dijk shrugged off a difficult game at Manchester United by heading in the fifth.
Chris Mepham’s own goal, Firmino’s second and Carvalho’s first for the club made it a perfect afternoon for the Reds as they narrowly missed out on claiming the Premier League’s biggest victory.
Liverpool should really have hit double figures in a completely one-side game as Mohamed Salah endured a rare off day in a game in which his team-mates were ruthless.
The Egypt forward missed an open net from a couple of yards out then had a shot tipped over by Mark Travers and blazed over from close range, while full-back Andrew Robertson also headed over.
The emphatic win maintained Liverpool’s dominant run over sides promoted from the Championship, now losing just one of 34 meetings against newly promoted teams.
More to follow.
Substituted forClarkat 83’minutes
- 4van Dijk
Substituted forTsimikasat 69’minutes
Substituted forFreitas Gouveia Carvalhoat 45’minutes
Substituted forBajceticat 70’minutes
Substituted forMilnerat 69’minutes
- 28Freitas Gouveia Carvalho
- 72van den Berg
- 15A SmithBooked at 35mins
Substituted forSolankeat 45’minutes
Substituted forBevanat 82’minutes
- 4L Cook
Substituted forPearsonat 77’minutes
Substituted forMarcondesat 82’minutes
Substituted forBillingat 45’minutes
- 13Murara Neto
Match ends, Liverpool 9, Bournemouth 0.
Second Half ends, Liverpool 9, Bournemouth 0.
Foul by Bobby Clark (Liverpool).
Emiliano Marcondes (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Dominic Solanke (Bournemouth).
Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Mark Travers.
Attempt saved. James Milner (Liverpool) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Mohamed Salah.
Stefan Bajcetic (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Dominic Solanke (Bournemouth).
Goal! Liverpool 9, Bournemouth 0. Luis Díaz (Liverpool) header from the right side of the six yard box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Kostas Tsimikas with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Jordan Zemura.
Substitution, Liverpool. Bobby Clark replaces Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Substitution, Bournemouth. Owen Bevan replaces Chris Mepham.
Substitution, Bournemouth. Emiliano Marcondes replaces Ben Pearson because of an injury.
Goal! Liverpool 8, Bournemouth 0. Fábio Carvalho (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Kostas Tsimikas.
Substitution, Bournemouth. Ben Pearson replaces Lewis Cook.
Foul by Mohamed Salah (Liverpool).
Jefferson Lerma (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) left footed shot from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Fabinho with a through ball.
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