Liverpool 3-0 Bournemouth: Reds Seal Convincing Win Against Cherries
On a balmy night at Anfield, goals from the devastating front three of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino sealed the three points against a rather passive Bournemouth outfit to boost their chances of the top four finish.
Liverpool looked to make one of their usual fast starts at Anfield, but a free-scoring Mohamed Salah could only poke Trent Alexander-Arnold's cross wide in what was an early warning for the visitors.
The warning wasn't heeded by Bournemouth as minutes later, Sadio Mane opened the scoring with his 10th league goal of the season. After his initial header was kept out by Asmir Begovic following a lovely cross from Jordan Henderson, Mane smashed home the rebound for the Reds to take a deserved lead.
Jurgen Klopp's side looked a team who had won four of their last five games in all competitions, threatening every time they ventured forward. Begovic was called into action again to deny Alexander-Arnold and Salah, as Eddie Howe's side looked less than comfortable dealing with Liverpool's attacks.
The scoreline could've been greater in the first period but for Cherries defenders putting in crucial last ditch blocks and interceptions, while Salah would've had a great chance to double to lead towards the end of the half had his touch not let him down.
Bournemouth didn't muster a shot on target in a first half they were second best in throughout, and were delighted to hear Chris Kavanagh's whistle for half-time finding themselves only one goal behind.
The second half followed a similar pattern to that of its predecessor, as Liverpool dominated possession for large spells, although a long range Virgil van Dijk strike was the closest the Reds went in the 20 minutes after the restart.
Liverpool however continued to probe away, having a penalty appeal turned away when Salah took a tumble following contact with Nathan Ake, before the Egyptian found his 30th league goal of the season in sublime fashion.
Alexander-Arnold delivered another excellent pass towards the head of Salah, with the Egyptian having the presence of mind to loop his header over a helpless Begovic, giving Klopp's side a deserved second with just over 20 minutes remaining.
Chances then came and went for Liverpool to score a third in the shape of Mane and Roberto Firmino, before Bournemouth almost found an unlikely route back into the game late on. Substitute Lys Mousset failed to bundle in an initial cross from close range, while Dan Gosling forced a smart save out of Loris Karius with the follow-up.
The visitors looked to rally in the closing stages, with substitute Callum Wilson firing wide from a tight angle after some lovely movement to pull off the shoulder of Van Dijk. It wasn't to be for Bournemouth however, as Liverpool put the game beyond any doubt as Firmino got in on the act in the final minute.
Oxlade-Chamberlian drove towards the heart of the Bournemouth defence before playing in Firmino, who squeezed the ball through the legs of Simon Francis and into Begovic's near post, wrapping up what had been a convincing win at Anfield.