Liverpool ended their wait for a win in the Premier League this season in emphatic style, netting five goals in the first-half as they thrashed Bournemouth 9-0 at Anfield on Saturday.
Jurgen Klopp called for a reaction from his side, who were in 16th place at the start of the day after being held to draws against Fulham and Crystal Palace as well as a 2-1 defeat to Manchester United on Monday, and Liverpool duly delivered, with Luiz Diaz and Harvey Elliott netting inside 10 minutes.
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Trent Alexander-Arnold and Roberto Firmino scored a quick-fire double either side of the half-hour mark before Virgil van Dijk struck on the stroke of half-time in a heavily one-sided affair.
Liverpool picked up where they left off in the second half. Alexander-Arnold provided an excellent cross toward Diaz just a minute after half-time when Bournemouth defender Chris Mepham turned into his own net.
Firmino, substitute Fabio Carvalho and Diaz netted further goals in the second half to secure a nine-goal victory, equalling the Premier League record for biggest winning margin. The feat has previously been achieved three times — twice by United and also by Leicester City.
“We had to prove a point to ourselves,” Klopp said. “We were not happy with how we played so far this season, but we had good moments in those games.
“We just had to give the game a proper direction and that’s why I loved the start today. Two wonderful goals, everything about them.
“We kept going, scoring different goals but with the same purpose to keep up the pressure. In the end it was the perfect football afternoon.”
Klopp made just one change from the team that lost to United, with Fabinho replacing James Milner in midfield.
Diaz got Liverpool off to a lightning-fast start, nodding home Firmino’s inviting cross to the back post on three minutes. Elliott added a second three minutes later as he struck a drive shot from the edge of the box into the bottom-left corner.
Alexander-Arnold got in on the action on 28 minutes with a screamer, rifling into the top corner from just outside the 18-yard box before Firmino, who had assisted the first three goals, netted one of his own — a volley at the back post.
Van Dijk scored Liverpool’s fifth just before half-time with a powerful header from an Andy Robertson corner to round off a comfortable first-half.
The first-half performance stood as Liverpool’s biggest lead at half-time in the Premier League era, and their first time netting five in the first-half since 1958, but Klopp’s side refused to show mercy.
Mepham’s own goal just after half-time sent Liverpool six ahead, and Firmino netted Liverpool’s seventh on 62 minutes when he bundled the ball home from close range.
Carvalho slotted home a Konstantinos Tsimikas cross on 82 minutes to record Liverpool’s eighth before Diaz struck five minutes from time.
Klopp’s side seemed to realise they were on the cusp of setting Premier League history — no team has ever scored 10 goals in a match — and Liverpool pushed for another, even being denied a penalty moments from time, but could not find the net once more.
“It was a humbling experience what has happened today,” Bournemouth manager Scott Parker said.
“We need to make a decision [in the transfer market] and give these players a break. They are struggling for air.”
Information from Reuters contributed to this report.