Liverpool delivered a clear sign they intend to push Manchester City all the way in the Premier League with an emphatic 4-0 victory at Bournemouth on Saturday that was capped by a hat-trick from Mohamed Salah.
This victory, the Reds’ fifth consecutive league win, secured with the additional help of a Steve Cook own-goal, extended Jurgen Klopp’s side’s unbeaten start to the league season.
It also moved them one point ahead of City at the top of the table, hours before Pep Guardiola’s side take on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Salah’s contribution was central to Liverpool’s success — the Egyptian has struggled to match his outstanding levels of last season but with 10 league goals to his name, he is now hitting his stride.
He may have benefited from a close offside decision for the 25th-minute opener that gave Liverpool a half-time lead, but the finishes for his two second-half goals were outstanding.
Overall, Liverpool manager Klopp could be satisfied with the manner in which his side eased their way to victory ahead of the midweek Champions League meeting with Napoli.
Liverpool had demonstrated resilience to win on Wednesday against a physical Burnley side whose approach drew an angry reaction from Klopp.
Joe Gomez was a casualty of the trip to Turf Moor, suffering a broken leg in a challenge with Clarets defender Ben Mee, and with a testing week ahead Klopp named Trent Alexander-Arnold among the substitutes and named James Milner at right-back.
Bournemouth’s hopes of halting Liverpool’s progress suffered a blow when Callum Wilson, the England international who has scored eight league goals this season, was ruled out with a hamstring injury.
The home side certainly felt Wilson’s absence during the periods of the game when they pushed Liverpool onto the back foot.
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