Finally. The Liverpool Football Club has finally won a match in the 2022/23 Premier League. And they did it in huge style, Saturday afternoon at Anfield. The Reds destroyed a hapless Bournemouth team 9-0 in front of a rapturous home crowd in the Merseyside sun.
Six different Reds scored in the game, with a Bournemouth own goal thrown in for good measure. Overall, Liverpool were the dominant, title-contending side that we all know that they are. This was the first time this season that Liverpool were in total control from start to finish.
Roberto Firmino was the focal point of Liverpool's attack. He scored 2 of the Reds' 9 goals and assisted on 3 more. This was the Brazilian answering his critics on the pitch. Many experts have said that Firmino's game has fallen off, but today proved otherwise.
Luis Díaz also tallied twice for Liverpool. He has continued to be a spark for Liverpool in the early going of the new season. Harvey Elliott, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk, and Fabio Carvalho also scored for Liverpool. Carvalho's tally in the 80th minute was his first as a Red.
By the end of the 90 minutes, you had to feel a bit bad for Bournemouth but, Liverpool needed this kind of win. It was an empathic statement win that answered a lot of criticisms of the club. Now they just need to make sure they kept something in the tank for the upcoming midweek match against Newcastle.
Liverpool were out to assert their dominance of this match from the first kick of the ball. They wasted no time as Luis Díaz got the Reds off to a flying start in the 3rd minute. He scored a header from a brilliant Firmino cross and Liverpool were off and running.
It didn't take long for the Reds to add a second. Harvey Elliott scored on a stunning strike in the 6th minute. He smashed it home with a left-footed strike from the top of the box. Díaz and Mohamed Salah combined to set up the 19-year-old midfielder with some crisp passing on the right side.
Liverpool just kept coming at Bournemouth. There was no let-up in the attack from the Merseysiders. After a couple of near misses, Trent Alexander-Arnold joined the goal party in the 28th minute. His absolute screamer into the top right corner of the net might have been the best of Liverpool's 9 goals.
About 3 minutes later, Roberto Firmino got his first goal of the afternoon. All he had to do was stick his foot out and tap home a deflected Salah cross past Bournemouth's keeper Matt Travers. It was that easy for the Reds this afternoon.
Liverpool would finish off their 5-goal first-half assault with a thumping header by Virgil van Dijk in first-half stoppage time. The big Dutchman was no match for the hapless Bournemouth defense as he got on the end of an Andy Robertson corner.
It was the first time the Reds were up 5-0 at the half at Anfield since a match against Brighton in 1958. The historic afternoon would only get better for Liverpool in the 2nd half.
Jürgen Klopp made his first substitution at the half, bringing on Fabio Cravalho for Harvey Elliott in a straight swap. Scott Parker also made substitutions at the half for Bournemouth to try and stop the Reds' juggernaut but, nothing could stop them.
Liverpool wasted no time in picking right back up where they left off. In the 46th minute, an Alexander-Arnold cross destined for Díaz's foot was knocked into the goal by Bournemouth's Chris Mepham. The own goal was the only one of the 9 that didn't go in off of a Liverpool player.
After the 6th goal, Bournemouth switched to a 5 defender system to try to better deal with Liverpool's onslaught. It didn't help. Firmino would score his second goal in the 62nd minute after Travers made two valiant saves. Firmino's determination in the play to put the Reds up 7 goals was a good example of the fight and focus that Liverpool had today.
Klopp put a series of substitutes on in the 69th minute that may have been misinterpreted as Liverpool letting up Bournemouth. Included in the subs was Stefan Bajcetic, the 17-year-old from Spain who impressed enough in training camp to earn a spot on the squad. It was his first action as a Red.
However, it was another of the 69th-minute substitutes that would continue to pile on poor Bournemouth. It was another teenager, 19-year-old Fabio Carvalho who opened his Liverpool goals account in the 80th minute. It was a great moment for the new striker, smashing home a pass from Kostas Tsimikas for his first goal in a Liverpool shirt.
Liverpool certainly didn't let up after the subs were put on. Luis Díaz would add the Reds' 9th goal in the 85th minute. The crowd at Anfield wanted, even more, chanting for a 10th goal up until the end of the match. The 9-0 win matches Liverpool's biggest ever home victory. They beat Crystal Palace by the same 9-0 margin back in 1989.
Man Of The Match and What's Next
The man of the match could be Jürgen Klopp. His clearing of the air team talk yesterday was necessary and effective. Liverpool was ruthless in their destruction of Bournemouth today and I think the boss laying down the law had a lot to do with it.
But, the players play the game and they should get Man of the Match honours. This weekend's MOTM has to be Roberto Firmino. The stats back it up, with 2 goals and 3 assists. The Brazilian striker was also out to prove a point, that he is still one of the Liverpool Big 3 and he did just that.
While we should take a few hours and revel in this win, Liverpool doesn't have much time until the next match. The mid-week fixtures start this Wednesday, August 31st with a potentially tricky match against Newcastle, also at Anfield.
But for now, thanks to 9 goals, the winless start to the season is already a distant memory. Liverpool are back with a bang.