Sat | Jul 21, 2018

Liverpool hammer Bournemouth 4-0

Published:Monday | December 18, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring his side's third goal against Bournemouth during their English Premier League match at the Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth, England, yesterday.

BOURNEMOUTH, England (AP):

Mohamed Salah reached 20 goals in all competitions in his first season for Liverpool by scoring in a 4-0 win over Bournemouth that lifted his team into the English Premier League's top four yesterday.

In a devastating attacking display by Liverpool on the south coast, the Egypt winger was an inevitable scorer to move his league-high tally to 14 goals.

Philippe Coutinho, from a jinking solo run, and Dejan Lovren had already netted in the opening 26 minutes and Salah's goal put Liverpool 3-0 ahead at half-time.

With memories still raw about squandering a 3-1 lead to lose 4-3 in this fixture a year ago, Liverpool did not let up and Roberto Firmino completed the rout with a diving header off Coutinho's cross in the 66th minute.

The Reds rebounded from back-to-back draws at Anfield - to Everton, then West Bromwich Albion - with another big away victory, having already won 5-1 at Brighton this month. Liverpool climbed above Burnley and Arsenal, and back into the Champions League qualification positions.

Liverpool visits fifth-place Arsenal on Friday as the English Premier League reaches the halfway point.

Sadio Mane was given a rest by Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, but the other three members of the so-called 'Fab Four' attacking unit - Salah, Coutinho and Firmino - played and scored.

"Going forward, we have the ability to open doors and score goals," said Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mane's replacement.

"The front four have been on fire ... . Everyone's a quality player and the rest of us have to sneak our noses in there. Squad rotation is important, keeps us fresh."

Salah is the first Liverpool player to get to 20 goals in a season by December since Ian Rush in 1986, and showed once more against Bournemouth why he is proving to be the best signing of last summer.

"I am really pleased about everything," Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said. "We could have scored more, but we didn't really give a lot away, so it was well deserved and I enjoyed the performances."

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe said his players "were well off it".

"We were flat, we never got going. All credit to Liverpool," Howe said.

"Against Liverpool, who are so good on the counter-attack, you can't turn the ball over like we did today. We are well aware our style can make us vulnerable."

In the day's other game, visitors Manchester United got the better of West Bromwich Albion 2-1 at The Hawthornes.