Liverpool made a raft of changes again and it paid off for a second consecutive game, as they cruised to a 3-0 victory at Bournemouth.
Bournemouth 0-3 Liverpool
Premier League (16), Dean Court
December 7, 2019
Oxlade-Chamberlain 35′ (assist – Henderson)
Keita 44′ (assist – Salah)
Salah 54′ (assist – Keita)
Liverpool’s trips to Bournemouth since their promotion to the top flight have invariably landed in December, and have therefore often provided Jurgen Klopp‘s fringe figures an opportunity to impress.
Having made five changes for the Merseyside derby in midweek, the manager made another seven in Boscombe, with Joe Gomez, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain those to join a more familiar starting side.
It was certainly a slower start to midweek despite a more settled lineup, with both Keita and Oxlade-Chamberlain taking time to find their feet while Dom Solanke and James Milner exchanged close efforts either way.
There were signs of improvement, though, as Keita sent Mo Salah through only for the No. 11 to be snuffed out by Nathan Ake, but with the centre-back suffering a hamstring injury in the process, Liverpool scored directly after his withdrawal.
The goal came through the same route taken against Everton: a long ball from Jordan Henderson, straight to Oxlade-Chamberlain, peeling off the shoulder, and the winger took one touch past Aaron Ramsdale for 1-0.
A second arrived before half-time, and this time it was Keita who enjoyed the spoils, chipping over Ramsdale after a brilliant one-two with Salah driving into the box.
HT: Bournemouth 0-2 Liverpool
Keita’s cobwebs seem to have been shaken off with his strike, with the Guinean significantly improved straight after half-time, with it taking nine minutes for him to return the favour for Salah.
It came via one of many sloppy passes from Ake’s replacement Jack Simpson, with Keita picking up the loose ball, surging forward and threading Salah through for his seventh goal against the Cherries.
This three-goal buffer allowed Liverpool to find their rhythm in control, though there was a brief scare as Diego Rico slid the ball past Alisson and in, only to be ruled out offside as the clean-sheet cause remained intact.
The lead also provided Curtis Jones his Premier League debut, with the teenager coming on for Andy Robertson with 14 minutes left to play, in a huge moment for both player and his boyhood club.
Jones showed composure, bravery and industry in his brief cameo, and with Liverpool seeing the game out for a comfortable win it proved another sign that the league leaders’ squad depth is stronger than suggested in the summer.
TIA Man of the Match: Virgil van Dijk
Referee: Chris Kavanagh
Bournemouth: Ramsdale; Francis, Mepham, Ake (Simpson 34′), Rico; Danjuma, Lerma, Billing (Cook 58′), Fraser; Solanke, Wilson (Gosling 64′)
Subs not used: Boruc, Stacey, Surman, Ibe
Liverpool: Alisson; Gomez, Lovren (Alexander-Arnold 40′), Van Dijk, Robertson (Jones 76′); Henderson, Keita, Milner; Salah, Oxlade-Chamberlain (Shaqiri 87′), Firmino
Subs not used: Adrian, Elliott, Mane, Origi
Next Match: Salzburg (A) – Champions League – Tuesday, Dec 10, 5.55pm (GMT)