A dominant Liverpool performance stretched the Reds’ Premier League unbeaten streak to 16 after securing a 4-0 win over Bournemouth on the south coast.

After picking up an invaluable three points in midweek the Reds picked up from where they left off against the Cherries, despite a number of changes to personnel.

Jurgen Klopp handed Naby Keita and Fabinho their first league start together, while Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Andy Robertson and Gini Wijnaldum all returned to the fold.

An open start to proceedings offered an immediate glimpse into what was to lie ahead for Liverpool as Bournemouth were prepared to come out and play, handing the Reds the rare opportunity to exploit space in the final third.

And Mohamed Salah duly obliged.

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 8, 2018: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah scores the first goal during the FA Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Liverpool FC at the Vitality Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Egyptian opened his account midway through the first term after capitalising on a rebound from Bournemouth keeper Asmir Begovic – and the opening goal only proved to be a sign of things to come.

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 8, 2018: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring the first goal during the FA Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Liverpool FC at the Vitality Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

After giving the Cherries a brief look-in as the first term came to a close, Liverpool emerged from the break as ruthless as ever as an onslaught of attacks saw a further three goals hit the back of the net in just 29 minutes.

Salah went on to inflict further pain after doubling Liverpool’s lead just minutes after the restart after drilling the ball into the bottom corner following excellent build up play from his fellow forward Roberto Firmino.

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 8, 2018: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah on his way to score the second goal during the FA Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Liverpool FC at the Vitality Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 8, 2018: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring the second goal with team-mate Virgil van Dijk during the FA Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Liverpool FC at the Vitality Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The goal put the result beyond doubt, but Liverpool and Salah were not finished as the Egyptian had the Bournemouth defenders at his mercy as he toyed with them to seal his hat-trick – piling on the misery after following an goal from Steve Cook moments earlier following a brilliant cross from Andy Robertson.

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 8, 2018: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah on his way scoring the fourth goal, completing his hat-trick, during the FA Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Liverpool FC at the Vitality Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 8, 2018: Liverpool's Andy Robertson celebrates after forcing an own-goal from AFC Bournemouth's captain Simon Francis during the FA Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Liverpool FC at the Vitality Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The victory ensures Liverpool move to the top of the Premier League table, for the time being, after clinching their 13th win of the campaign.

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 8, 2018: Liverpool's Andy Robertson celebrates scoring the third goal with team-mates during the FA Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Liverpool FC at the Vitality Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Next up for the Reds is an all or nothing Champions League group game against Napoli at Anfield on Tuesday, before Manchester United come to town on Sunday.


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Joanna Durkan