Roberto Firmino inspired Liverpool to a Premier League record-equalling 9-0 win over newly-promoted Bournemouth at Anfield this afternoon.
Having sat out the Reds last home game — a 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace — the Brazilian forward came back into Jurgen Klopp’s starting lineup earlier in the week against Manchester United but was ineffective as Liverpool suffered a first top-flight loss of the season and this year.
Firmino, whose present deal expires next summer, didn’t take long to make an impact against the Cherries teeing-up Luis Díaz and then Harvey Elliott inside the opening six minutes. Elliott incidentally is the first Liverpool player born after James Milner’s debut to score for the Merseyside giants. To put Firmino’s early efforts into some perspective not since Islam Slimani in December 2016 for Leicester against Manchester City has a player recorded two assists inside the opening six minutes of a Premier League match.
He wasn’t done. Firmino then played a pass for Trent Alexander-Arnold to strike a long-range effort past Mark Travers before slotting the ball past the hapless Bournemouth goalkeeper himself which ended a personal streak of 20 home leagues without scoring. Virgil van Dijk sealed an unsaibale 5-0 half-time lead — it was the first occasion of the Reds registered five goals in the opening half of a top-flight game since October 1927 versus Portsmouth — before Chris Mepham inadvertently put the ball into his own net minutes after the break.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) August 27, 2022
Liverpool never relented with Firmino and Diaz each grabbing their second of the game while Fabio Carvalho netted a first-ever strike for his new club. Firmino’s second effort matches compatriot Gabriel Jesus as the only players to be directly involved in 5+ goals in a Premier League game this year. Bournemouth have now conceded 15 times in their Premier League return. After four games they shipped three more goals than Petr Cech conceded across 35 matches for Chelsea during the 2004/05 season. The last time a top-flight side shipped as many goals at this stage of a season was in 1963/64 by Arsenal (also 16).
Klopp wanted a response following their abject Old Trafford performance. And he certainly got one. This was Liverpool’s biggest-ever Premier League win (scorline and margin of victory) matching the competiton’s record they now share with Manchester United (who put nine unanswered goals past Ipswich in 1995 then against Southampton in 2021) and Leicester City (v Southampton in 2019). Incredibly despite coming close to double figures, Mohamed Salah, arguably the club’s talisman, wasn’t on hand for any of Liverpool’s goals.
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But this was undisputedly the Firmino show. His second and third assist plus first goal were all one-touch. On top of that, he became the second Liverpool player to make four goal contributions in a single half of a Premier League match after Milan Baros in a 6-0 win at West Brom on April 26, 2003 (two goals and two assists), and the first to be directly involved in four goals in the first half of a single Premier League match (one goal, three assists) and the first player overall since Harry Kane in February 2017 against Stoke (three goals, one assist).
With their first win on the board Liverpool are incredibly the Premier League’s joint-top scorers for the season now, despite having only one win. Next up will be a visit from Newcastle United who are no strangers to a high-scoring Anfield affair.