LIVERPOOL (AFP) - Jurgen Klopp hailed Liverpool’s “perfect afternoon” as they equalled the record for the biggest Premier League win by thrashing Bournemouth 9-0 at Anfield on Saturday (Aug 27).
Roberto Firmino and Luis Diaz both scored twice with strikes from Harvey Elliott, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk, Fabio Carvalho and a Chris Mepham own goal completing the scoring.
It is the fourth time in Premier League history a team has won by nine goals. Manchester United beat Ipswich 9-0 in 1995 and Southampton by the same score last year. Leicester also won 9-0 at Southampton in 2019.
The result was all the more remarkable given Liverpool, who just months ago came within two games of an unprecedented quadruple, had made their worst league start in a decade.
Klopp’s side silenced the critics as they registered their first victory of the season at the fourth attempt.
“Each manager in the world is a fantastic entertainer when you win football games. When you have to answer questions after you lose a game and try to find explanations, it sounds like excuses or whatever,” Klopp said.
“We were not happy with the way we played. We had good moments in nearly all the games where we showed things which we are strong at, and other things where we have to improve.
“You get this early goal and you get the second. And we kept going, scored different goals but always with the same purpose: keep going, put them under pressure, don’t stop.
“At half-time it was important that we, again, keep going because it’s early in the season.
“It’s not for us now to control it a little bit. In the end it was the perfect football afternoon for us.”
Fabinho returned to stiffen up Liverpool’s midfield in the wake of Monday’s 2-1 defeat away to Manchester United that left them five points back of reigning champions Manchester City.
Having struggled without the departed Sadio Mane in their first three games, Liverpool’s attack instantly clicked Saturday as Firmino floated in a cross for Diaz to head home inside three minutes.
The Brazilian also played his part in the second as his heavy touch rolled invitingly towards Elliott, the 19-year-old curling in from the edge of the area for his first top-flight goal.
Mohamed Salah forced Mark Travers to tip over and somehow glanced wide when Elliott fizzed a cross towards the Egyptian, but the respite was temporary for Scott Parker’s overmatched side.
After repeatedly being targeted in the United defeat, Alexander-Arnold displayed his undoubted quality with a thumping drive into the top corner from 20 metres.
Firmino then got in on the act as Salah’s attempted pass looped wickedly off a Bournemouth player and right to the Brazilian to stab in from close range.
Ryan Christie grazed the post in a rare chance for Bournemouth, who were powerless to stop the Liverpool onslaught.
Van Dijk headed in Andy Robertson’s corner on the stroke of half-time as Liverpool scored five goals in the opening half of a Premier League game for the first time.
The Reds struck again a minute into the second period as Mepham poked Alexander-Arnold’s cross into his own net.
Firmino reached 100 Liverpool goals by reacting quickest to pounce on the loose ball after Robertson swung in a dangerous delivery that Travers could only parry.
Portuguese teenager Carvalho fired in to make it eight being teed up by Kostas Tsimikas’ cushioned lay-off, notched his first goal for the club since signing from Fulham.
Diaz then headed in the record-equalling goal with six minutes to play as Liverpool shook off a slow start to the campaign in stunning fashion.