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Liverpool 9-0 Bournemouth: Diaz, Elliott, Alexander-Arnold, Firmino, Van Dijk all score

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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 emphatic fashion.

Manchester United have achieved this margin of victory twice – against Ipswich in 1995 and Southampton last year – while Leicester City did likewise against the Saints in 2019.

Liverpool got off to the perfect start as two goals in the opening five minutes against the Cherries set a raucous Anfield rocking.

Luis Diaz rose to powerfully head home the opener and the impressive 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 after a fortunate deflection.

Summer signing Fabio Carvalho volleyed in with eight minutes left for number eight and Colombia winger 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.

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 before blazing over from close range. Left-back Andrew Robertson also headed over from in front of goal.

The emphatic win maintained Liverpool’s dominant run over sides promoted from the Championship, and they have now lost just one of 34 meetings against newly promoted teams.

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