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LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 27, 2022: Liverpool's Roberto Firmino is embraces by manager Jürgen Klopp as he is substituted during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and AFC Bournemouth at Anfield. Liverpool won 9-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Back on track: Why Liverpool’s 9-goal “response” came at perfect time

For the third game in a row, we were awaiting “a response” from Liverpool. Someone was getting it sooner rather than later, and unfortunately for Bournemouth, it transpired that it had to be them.

I think we can all agree it’s a lot more fun when we’re good.

Liverpool were ruthless in the best possible sense. “We want 10” were the cries from the Anfield faithful and it appeared that the players were of the same mindset.

Virgil van Dijk could be seen reaching for the ball from the back of the net following Luis Diaz’s second and Liverpool’s ninth. They hadn’t come to mess around.

While we all prayed for three points of any description, that wasn’t enough to satisfy the players. They wanted a statement performance and that was precisely what was delivered.

It’s amazing what a win can do for the overall mood around the club, and that was amplified by the sheer volume of goals and high quality from everyone involved. It was a 90-minute long ‘Goal of the Month’ competition.

 

Record breakers

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 27, 2022: Liverpool's scoreboard records 9-0 during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and AFC Bournemouth at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Premier League recently celebrated its 30th birthday and there has yet to be a bigger scoreline than the one we saw at Anfield on Saturday afternoon.

You could be forgiven for expecting confidence to be shattered after the meek showing at Old Trafford five days earlier, but that wasn’t the case for Liverpool.

It could have been more. Fantasy football lovers across the land rued Salah’s missed opportunities and the referee’s failure to entertain what looked a fairly solid penalty shout late on, but given the mood heading into the game, it is somewhat unreasonable to be left feeling short-changed in any way.

It was a performance befitting of the scoreline, with inspired displays all over the park. Bobby Firmino did all of the Bobby Firmino things and gets extra marks for presentation, it was something to behold.

Harvey Elliott continues to impress and looks every bit the player he was pre-injury, if not better. His replacement for the second half, Fabio Carvalho, must now be in serious contention for his first league start, having made a seamless transition from lighting up the Championship to looking completely at home for Liverpool.

 

Klopp on a mission

Interestingly, no fist pumps from the boss.

It’s easy to read too much into these things but it certainly feels that the gaffer’s mood is often reflected by his five-minute post-game cameos on the pitch.

You can tell by the vigour of his celebrations how much each win means. He went big after the 6-0 thrashing of Leeds last season, and on occasions when the supporters have carried his team over the line, he is always keen to show appreciation.

Perhaps it was respect for his cardigan-laden counterpart, or simply an acknowledgement of the work that still needs to be done. Regardless, his business-like demeanour clearly rubbed off on the players, and he exudes all the emotions you’d want to see from him at this stage.

With two games almost every week until the World Cup commences, there simply isn’t time to savour this one in the manner it deserves.

I can envisage Klopp making his way down the tunnel and immediately switching his attention to Newcastle. Given the sluggish start to the campaign, perhaps this emphatic scoreline was a necessity in his eyes. “We had to prove a point,” were his words after the game.

 

Clicking into gear in timely fashion

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 27, 2022: Liverpool's Andy Robertson (L) and Trent Alexander-Arnold celebrate after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and AFC Bournemouth at Anfield. Liverpool won 9-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It’s a sprint until November and a fixture schedule that will be more familiar to this squad than most.

Liverpool must ensure they are within striking distance of Man City by the time Qatar 2022 rolls around, where they will find themselves in the objectively luxurious position of having what is likely to be a significantly smaller number of international call-ups than their rivals.

There is still plenty to be done to repair the damage of the opening three games, but the resounding nature with which the Reds conducted their business against Bournemouth offers us grounds for optimism that we certainly didn’t have this time last week.

I expect there will be plenty of midfielder chat between now and Thursday’s deadline, when the football world will become a little bit deranged for the day (even more so than normal).

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 27, 2022: Liverpool's owner John W. Henry and his wife Linda Pizzuti during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and AFC Bournemouth at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Of course one more would be nice, it’s always welcome, but whatever happens on that front, the team we are left with on Friday needs backing from then until mid-November and any potential reinforcements need to be forgotten about.

One midfielder doesn’t fix the issues we faced at Old Trafford, in the same way that winning 9-0 doesn’t mean the chequebook needs to close. Both of those things can be true.

For now, we can rejoice in the knowledge that Liverpool appear to have rediscovered their mojo ahead of a hectic period, and can hopefully put the stuttering start to the season behind us.

More of the same against Newcastle.

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