Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Liverpool roar to life behind Roberto Firmino’s 5 combined goals and assists in 9 goal romp vs. Bournemouth

Alarm bells are no longer ringing for Liverpool after a record equaling 9-0 thrashing of AFC Bournemouth saw Jurgen Klopp’s men spectacularly break out of their funk. Roberto Firmino was the hosts’ star man with two goals and three assists in a performance which was a throwback to the 30-year-old’s best form.

All three of Firmino’s assists came in the first half as the Brazil international laid on a trio of goals before getting in on the act himself. There were also six different scorers for Liverpool with Chris Mepham putting through his own net at the start of the second half to join Firmino, Luis Diaz, Harvey Elliott, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk, and Fabio Carvalho on the score sheet.

After a three-match winless streak at the start of the season, questions were being asked of Klopp and his Reds with the loss away at a dysfunctional Manchester United prompting concern over midfield depth and exposing Alexander-Arnold’s weaker points at fulback. The German tactician’s players responded in the strongest possible way with the opener inside of three minutes through Diaz.

Elliott made it two just three minutes later and even then, it was already a question of how much damage would be inflicted upon newly promoted Bournemouth. Scott Parker’s Cherries were 5-0 down at half-time after Alexander-Arnold, Firmino himself and Van Dijk all found the net with Andy Robertson providing for the Netherlands international just before the break.

Any hope of keeping things respectable and winning the second half went out of the window when Mepham put one in his own goal inside the opening minute of the second 45. A late burst started after the hour when Firmino scored with substitute Kostas Tsimikas providing for Carvalho and Diaz’s goals to complete the scoring.

As far as responses go, it was emphatic from Liverpool who were without the suspended Darwin Nunez yet still came close to setting a new Premier League record of 10 goals with the third 9-0 score since 2019. However, it was also without star man Mo Salah getting a goal or assist with the Egyptian finishing the game on the pitch.

Admittedly, Bournemouth are not going to be Liverpool’s toughest opponents this season but racking up such a dominant score is impressive. If the Reds can be equally as merciless against other sides, perhaps they can still make up ground on the likes of Manchester City and be a key player in the UEFA Champions League as was initially expected.

Klopp admitted earlier in the week that a midfielder will be brought in if the right profile can be identified and acquired before the end of the current transfer window. This performance and result suggest that such an addition could enable Liverpool to balance assaults across multiple fronts after last season’s European heartache.

Newcastle United, Everton, SSC Napoli and Wolverhampton Wanderers should provide a more solid indication on where this campaign could be headed for the Merseysiders. However, the tank is clearly not as dry as the warning signs from their early season results had us believe while Bournemouth have now gone three straight Premier League games without scoring since beating Aston Villa.

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