Liverpool 3-0 AFC Bournemouth As It Happened: Reds return to winning ways with dominant performance
Mohammed salad celebrates towards the fans following his goal, Liverpool's third. (Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Getty Images)

Liverpool 3-0 AFC Bournemouth As It Happened: Reds return to winning ways with dominant performance

Liverpool's front three were firing on all cylinders as they dispatched Bournemouth 3-0. This victory brings the Reds back to the top of the table, three points ahead of Manchester City.

maxwell-hogg
Maxwell Hogg
That concludes VAVEL UK's coverage of today's match between Liverpool and Bournemouth at Anfield. I've been Maxwell Hogg, and thanks for following along with me today. We'll have plenty of post match coverage, such as quotes and match analysis, so be sure to stick with us here at VAVEL UK. Until next time!
It was a decent showing by Bournemouth early on, but as the game continued, it was clear that Liverpool's quality was too much for them to handle. These are the kind of games Liverpool is expected to win. After two disappointing draws, the home supporters will be glad to see their side return to winning ways.
The front three showed their prestige today, with both Mane and Salah amongst the goals. Firmino should have had one himself, but he ends the day with an assist on Salah's goal. The defense was also back to form, keeping a clean sheet for the first time in nearly a month. And with the return of Alexander-Arnold late on, Liverpool's preferred defensive starters are nearly all back.
Fulltime
Not much to be said about the dying minutes as Liverpool held onto possession comfortably. The whistle blows, and Liverpool are victorious on the day. It hasn't been the best of days for Liverpool recently, but a triumphant 3-0 win today is a nice return to form for the league leaders. They have reopened their three point gap on City before their two week break in the league.
90' Substitution
Firmino comes off for Sturridge as Klopp makes his final change. There will also be four minutes of stoppage time.
89'
Liverpool once again on the break with Salah galloping down the wing. He finds Origi in the box, but the striker trips over the ball and goes to ground. He nearly plays a ball to Firmino while on the ground, but he can't get enough power to find his teammate.
88'
Klopp makes another change, bringing off Mane for Origi. There is a loud applause for Mane as he heads for his seat.
87'
Robertson picks out the run of Firmino down the middle on the counter attack. His first touch takes him beyond Mepham, but he can't get his shot right as it weakly rolls into the hands of Boruc.
85'
Bournemouth are starting to build a bit of possession late on here, but Liverpool also seem content to let them have the ball. There have been some interesting chances from Bournemouth, but Van dijk and Matip have been top shelf today. Hard to see either of them get beat today.
83'
Salah tees up Milner on the edge of the box, and the midfielder has a go. There is plenty of bend on the shot, but no dip as it curls into the stands.
80' Substitution
Bournemouth make their final change, bringing off Rico for Chris Mepham.
78'
Mousset gets the ball in the box on the right side. It's a narrow angle, but the Bournemouth attacker has a go anyways. He nearly finds the top corner, but Alisson did well to cover his near post and punch the ball over for a corner.
76' Substitution
Salah nearly scores another for Liverpool! Firmino and Salah link up well once more, sending Salah on a one-on-one with Boruc. He fires high past Boruc, but strikes the crossbar instead of the back of the net. The shot was dipping but not enough to get under the post for the goal. After the play, Wijnaldum comes off for Alexander-Arnold.
75'
The ball bobbles around the Liverpool area following a Bournemouth corner kick. Surman gets on the end of a loose ball at the top of the box, but his shot is poor as it weakly deflects into Alisson's arms.
73' Substitution
Liverpool are firmly in control now. There is hardly a moment where the ball isn't in the Bournemouth half as the Reds continue to mount immense pressure on the opposition. There is another change for Bournemouth as Lys Mousset comes on for Lerma. With three attackers on, Howe is searching for at least a goal.
66'
Salah holds the ball up at the top of the box before trying to play Wijnaldum at the back post. It was a good idea, but the ball was just beyond Wijnaldum.
62'
A long ball down the wing is perfect for Salah to run onto. Rico does well to keep up with him before he plays the ball to Firmino on the far side. It is a good idea, but Cook is alert to the danger and clear the ball.
59' Substitution
Ibe's day is over as Eddie Howe makes his first switch. One ex-Liverpool player for another as Dominic Solanke comes on for Bournemouth.
56'
The ball spills out for Wijnaldum inside the box. There is space for the shot, but he instead picks out Mane at the back post. The winger is completely unmarked, but he can't guide his header on goal as he narrowly misses wide.
53'
Mane is nearly through for his second, but he can't sort out his legs as he goes to ground. He had the space between the defenders completely split, and the Bournemouth defense will be breathing a sigh of relief to see him go down on his own.
48' GOAL! Liverpool 3-0 Bournemouth
Brilliant play by Liverpool for their third! Keita lofted a ball right into the path of Firmino. He attracted two defenders before back heeling the ball for Salah. Liverpool's Egyptian King is unmarked as he bursts into the box before finding the bottom corner. Cheeky back heel by Firmino, but a beautiful goal of the highest quality by the hosts.
Second-half!
The whistle blows, and the second-half is started. Can Bournemouth find a way into this game, or will Liverpool cruise to three points.
It would take a lapse in judgment now for Bournemouth to get past this dialed-in Liverpool defense. If Bournemouth can keep Liverpool out and keep carving chances, they might be able to steal a point here. But that is highly unlikely given the quality of Liverpool's play.
Bournemouth had some decent chances at goal early on, but every single ball they have played in the air has been won by either Matip or Van Dijk. Liverpool is simply dominating the ball in the air. The best chances for the visitors have been with the ball at Fraser or Ibe's feet, trying to curl a shot past Alisson.
Halftime!
Now that is a performance that Jurgen Klopp can be proud of. Liverpool once again scored in the first half, but haven't conceded like they have the past two weeks. Instead the Reds were able to find a second goal, grasping control of the game at the same time.
45+1'
The ball spills out to the top of the Liverpool box, and Lerma runs onto it to have a go. He hits it hard, but his shot is rising as it flies into the stands. Alisson sets up for the goal kick, but Anthony Taylor blows his whistle for the end of the half.
45'
And they nearly do get another. A Robertson cross is deflected to the top of the box. Salah lets the ball take bounce before trying the volley. It's hit well, and Boruc makes a fantastic lunge to punch the ball away. The board goes up and there will be two minutes of stoppage to be played.
44'
We are coming into the closing minutes of the first half here at Anfield. It was slightly difficult at first, but the Reds look to be fully in control. They also look up for more goals.
37'
Smith gets past Robertson on the byline, but the Liverpool defender does well to recover and make the tackle. Bournemouth want a penalty, but Anthony Taylor was on hand and saw no issue with the challenge. Smith then gets a yellow card for a late tackle on Mane.
34' GOAL! Liverpool 2-0 Bournemouth
What a spectacular goal by Gina Wijnaldum! Robertson played an early ball over the top to Wijnaldum. He was able to bring the ball down with Nathan Ake on his shoulder. It was a narrow angle, but Wijnaldum was able to flick the ball with the outside of his boot to flick it right over the head of Boruc and into the back of the net.
33'
Matip played a fantastic ball over the top to Firmino, but he couldn't control the ball before Boruc was able to get to it.
31'
Liverpool are firmly in the driver's seat here. Bournemouth are pressing slightly, but the Reds are still picking all the right passes out. However, the visitors defense has been tough as Liverpool struggles to find a second goal.
27'
A pair of Bournemouth long throws are dispatched by the defense before Liverpool break on the counter attack. Firmino picks out Wijnaldum who is unmarked in the middle. He plays the ball out wide to Salah, but he gets his first touch completely wrong as the ball is cleared by Lerma.
24' GOAL! Liverpool 1-0 Bournemouth
Liverpool get a second cross in after Bournemouth handled a corner kick. Milner's ball is swung in low at the near post, and Mane does well to get in front of Dan Gosling to nod the ball home for the opener. That's his fourth goal in four consecutive games now!
22'
Andrew Surman links up with King in the box, but they are on different wavelengths as King flicks the ball for Surman. It was in a dangerous area, but Surman wasn't making a run to get on the end of it as Alisson calmly collected.
20'
Ibe connects with Fraser to create space for the cross. He curls it towards King at the back post, but the ball is just over his head. Bournemouth are starting to ask more questions.
19'
Fabinho tries to pick the run of Robertson out with a long ball, but the pass is behind him and is out for a throw. There is a hint of frustration starting to build.
17'
Ibe has the ball with space in the box and tries to pick out Joshua King at the far post, but Van Dijk picks the pass out and clears the danger.
15'
Adam Smith gets forward before picking out the run of Jordon Ibe. He gets ahead of Robertson, but the Liverpool defender makes a great tackle from behind to stop Ibe in his tracks.
12'
Anfield is roaring as Firmino goes close. He started the move off, squeezing the ball past two Bournemouth players to Mane. He plays the ball back to Firmino who tries to flick the ball past Artur Boruc, but the goalkeeper smothered the ball and held on tight.
10'
Fabinho plays a strong pass to Salah on the outside of Rico. The Liverpool man takes a short stutter step before cutting inside past Rico and flash a shot at goal. It was curling, but the shot was always flying wide.
7'
Andrew Robertson is nearly wide open for the cross, but Sadio Mane is whistled for a for foul on Steve Cook when making the pass out wide.
5'
Ryan Fraser gets the ball inside the box on the right side. He takes one step to create space between him and Milner before trying to curl one past Alisson. It's a decent shot, but the Liverpool keeper stretches well to make the save.
3'
Liverpool are pressing with intensity. The visitors are being denied even a second on the ball before they have a red shirt in their face. It's causing plenty of problems are Liverpool firmly hold on to possession.
Kickoff!
Bournemouth take the kick and this match has started. The Kop is roaring and flags are flying as the home fans try to create an atmosphere.
He might have missed the starting lineup, but Dominic Solanke is still available for the visitors. While his time at Liverpool left much to be desired, the ex-Red could definitely be a ripple in today's matchup.
Instead of Chris Mepham coming in, it will be Steve Cook staying central while Diego Rico come in out wide in the defense. Jefferson Lerma is fit enough to start today. Josh King will be starting up front with Ryan Fraser and Jordon Ibe supporting him on the wings.
While Henderson and Alexander-Arnold find themselves fit today, they are only ready for the bench as Milner starts in defense. Wijnaldum returns today, pairing with Fabinho and Keita.
Bournemouth Substitutions
Mousset, Simpson, Begovic, Taylor, Solanke, Mepham, Surridge
Bournemouth Starting Xi
Boruc; Rico, Ake, Cook, Smith; Lerma, Surman, Gosling; Ibe, King, Fraser
Liverpool Substitutions
Henderson, Sturridge, Lallana, Mignolet, Origi, Camacho, Alexander-Arnold
Liverpool Starting XI
Alisson; Robertson, Van Dijk, Matip, Milner; Keita, Wijnaldum, Fabinho; Mane, Salah, Firmino
The right-back situation for Liverpool also slightly complicates the midfield selection. Milner, Henderson and Fabihno have all been fielded as right-backs in the past, but this thins out midfield options. Naby Keita is fully fit but was relatively ineffective against West Ham. Fabinho wasn't featured earlier in the week and should have a role to play this weekend.
The absence of Clyne will probably push Steve Cook out wide to fill the gap, opening the door for a Chris Mepham start in defense. On the Liverpool side, James Milner will most likely be in the right-back spot if Alexander-Arnold is unable to return.
Predicted Bournemouth Starting XI
Begovic; Smith, Ake, Mepham, S Cook; Fraser, Surman, Gosling, Stanislas, King; Solanke
Predicted Liverpool Starting XI
Alisson; Robertson, Matip, Van Dijk, Milner; Fabinho, Henderson, Shaqiri; Mane, Firmino, Salah
We are a ways off until official team sheets come out, but here is how we think both sides will lineup.
The absence of Wilson and Brooks has opened up a spot up front for Dominic Solanke to face his former club for the first time since his January move. Josh King will most likely drop behind Solanke in the space that the injured Brooks occupies.
Bournemouth is without a host of players. David Brooks is out with an ankle injury while Callum Wilson, Lewis Cook and Simon Francis all miss out due to knee injuries. Jefferson Lerma is almost back from an ankle injury, but it may be too early for him to return. Outside of injuries, Nathaniel Clyne is unable to face his host club and will not be available for selection.
Beyond the long term injuries to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, Georginio Wijnaldum and Trent Alexander-Arnold are doubts with knee injuries. Jordan Henderson and Dejan Lovren are also in a race for fitness, but it's looking more likely that Lovren will still be out.
The last time these two sides faced each other was at the Vitality Stadium in December. It was a day to forget for Bournemouth as Liverpool demolished them 4-0 on the back of a Mohammed Salah hat-trick. While the Cherries can be lethal on their day, expect a similar scoreline here at Anfield.
Eddie Howe and his side have no fear of relegation, but their supporters still wouldn't wish to see their side lose. Bournemouth's highest league finish is ninth place, so they are in a position climb higher than ever before. But given the Cherries have never won a game of football at Anfield before, it's hard to see them picking up points today in search of that goal.
The offense was seemingly starting to click after Bournemouth scored two past West Ham and then a whopping four goals against Chelsea. However, that halted to a stop once the Cherries failed to score in a 2-0 defeat to Cardiff City. Bournemouth is a team capable of pulling off surprise results, but their inability to maintain form is one of the main reasons they are stuck midtable. 
It has been valleys and mountains lately for Bournemouth. While the Cherries have recently recorded wins over both West Ham and Chelsea, those victories are sandwiched between losses to Everton and Cardiff City, a relegation candidate.
The Reds do have the benefit of playing at Anfield today, a ground that they have defended well for well beyond the start of the season. It has been 33 games now since Liverpool last tasted defeat at home. However, their last result at home was the draw against Leicester.
Manchester City's win over Everton on Wednesday has brought them past Liverpool on top of the table, but Liverpool are still a game behind their rivals. A result would bring Liverpool back to the Premier League summit, but a win would solidify their position against City. Anything other than a win will feel like a loss for Liverpool.
League-leading Liverpool dropped another two points in their last match, drawing West Ham United in London. As it was with Leicester, the Reds took an early lead, but could not find a winner once their opposition equalized. That's two draws in a row now, and Liverpool will be looking for a win to restart their title march.
Hello and welcome to VAVEL UK's live commentary for today's match between Liverpool and AFC Bournemouth at Anfield. Today's kick-off is scheduled for 3 p.m. I'm Maxwell Hogg, and I'm here to keep you up-to-date with all the action today. It's a bit until kick-off, so let's take a look at both the sides before this afternoon's clash.
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