Bournemouth 0-4 Liverpool: 5 Hits and Flops as rampant reds extend their lead to five points at the top of the table 

AFC Bournemouth v Liverpool FC - Premier League
AFC Bournemouth v Liverpool FC - Premier League

Liverpool secured a convincing 4-0 victory over Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium, propelled by a brace from both Diogo Jota and Darwin Nunez. The electrifying second-half display starkly contrasted an uneventful opening period.

Jurgen Klopp found himself compelled to make several adjustments, grappling with the absence of key players such as Trent Alexander-Arnold, Mohamed Salah, Dominik Szoboszlai, Wataru Endo, and Andy Robertson, who were sidelined due to international commitments and injuries. Meanwhile, the Cherries faced their own challenges, dealing with a depleted backline that necessitated fielding players out of their accustomed positions.

The commencement of the match was marked by a lackluster performance, with Justin Kluivert making headlines for a mistimed tackle on Luis Diaz during the opening half. The Dutch international, seemingly fortunate to escape punishment, inadvertently struck the shin of the Liverpool attacker with his trailing leg.

Despite the game's tepid start, the visitors managed to create a promising opportunity when their defender Ibrahima Konate connected with an exquisite corner delivery from Harvey Elliott. However, Liverpool's #5 was unable to keep his header on target, resulting in a goalless first half as both teams headed into the interval.

Nonetheless, the league leaders commenced the second half with heightened intensity, elevating their performance to secure a well-deserved lead. This breakthrough came in the 49th minute when Darwin Nunez capitalized on some brilliant combination play by Curtis Jones and Diogo Jota.

Liverpool extended their lead when, Diogo Jota, the catalyst of the attacking sequence, concluded it in style by unleashing a powerful shot into the bottom right-hand corner of the net. With this thunderous strike, the Portuguese international notched up his tenth goal of the season in the 70th minute.

Jota found himself in the midst of the action once more when he capitalized on a less-than-ideal touch, unleashing a ferocious strike to beat the helpless Neto just nine minutes after opening his scoring account. The sensational second half continued as Darwin Nunez concluded it with a world-class finish, getting the ball into the net during stoppage time from an excellent Joe Gomez cross, solidifying a commanding five-point lead at the summit of the table.

In this article, we will analyze three noteworthy performances and two weak displays in the Reds' commanding 4-0 victory against Bournemouth.

#5 Hit - Darwin Nunez (Liverpool)

Darwin Nunez celebrates after the opener against Bournemouth.
Darwin Nunez celebrates after the opener against Bournemouth.

Darwin Nunez, affectionately dubbed the "Agent of Chaos" by Liverpool fans, showcased the enigmatic facets of his character in a game where he transformed an initially challenging performance into an exceptional second half. Despite grappling to find his rhythm in the opening 45 minutes, the Uruguayan international managed to redefine his impact, providing a much-needed boost as the Reds gear up for pivotal encounters against Fulham in the League Cup semifinals, and Premier League clashes against Chelsea and Arsenal in the next couple of weeks.

This impressive brace makes the 24-year-old the inaugural Premier League player to achieve the milestone of 10 goals and 10 assists in the current campaign.

#4 Flop - Chris Mepham (Bournemouth)

Chris Mepham struggled to contain Liverpool forwards
Chris Mepham struggled to contain Liverpool forwards

Centre-back Chris Mepham found himself displaced from his position during the opening goal and encountered difficulties executing fundamental defensive tasks against the goals scored by Diogo Jota. Struggling to cope with the pace and trickery of the Portuguese international, Mepham faced consistent torment from Jota throughout the game.

Having spent five consecutive league games on the bench, Mepham would have liked to make a compelling impression on his manager, Andoni Iraola, in order to secure a spot in the starting eleven. However, his aspirations may face a setback as the return of Skipper Lloyd Kelly from injury increases the likelihood of Mepham being relegated to the bench once again.

#3 Hit - Alexis Mac Allister (Liverpool)

Alexis Mac Allister was the best midfielder on the pitch by a mile
Alexis Mac Allister was the best midfielder on the pitch by a mile

Alexis Mac Allister has truly transformed since returning from injury, displaying a notable shift in his performances. The Argentine international showcased his prowess by making an impressive 15 ball recoveries and emerging victorious in 12 tackles in the midfield. In moments when Liverpool faced challenges in ball retention, the midfielder exhibited a knack for winning duels effortlessly in the middle of the park. Furthermore, Mac Allister played a crucial role in maintaining the team's fluidity during the second half, ensuring the midfield continued to operate seamlessly.

MacAllister is anticipated to take on an increased role in the midfield, particularly in the absence of Wataru Endo, who is currently away for the Asia Cup with Japan.

On a night when Liverpool's performance was nearly flawless, the potential hamstring injury to Curtis Jones could intensify the responsibility on MacAllister's shoulders. If the England international faces challenges in regaining fitness promptly, the Argentine midfielder may find himself shouldering a greater burden in orchestrating the midfield.

#2 Flop - Justin Kluivert (Bournemouth)

Kluivert was anonymous throughout the game
Kluivert was anonymous throughout the game

Among the four forwards, Justin Kluivert was notably subdued during the evening. While Luis Sinisterra created challenges for the young Conor Bradley in the opening half, he failed to translate it into meaningful opportunities to trouble Liverpool's backline. Marcus Tavernier, on the other hand, managed to locate pockets of space on a couple of occasions, only to be thwarted by the opposing defenders.

In contrast, Kluivert not only struggled to generate any noteworthy contributions but also narrowly escaped punishment for a clumsy tackle on Luis Diaz, leaving him fortunate to remain on the pitch.

Andoni Iraola will undoubtedly be eager for other forwards to raise their performance levels, complementing the contributions of their talisman, Dominik Solanke. Justin Kluivert, the summer signing from AS Roma, will be particularly keen to enhance his goal and assist tally in the upcoming weeks, aspiring to leave a lasting impression on his manager.

#1 Hit - Diogo Jota (Liverpool)

Jota celebrates after scoring
Jota celebrates after scoring

In the aftermath of the game, Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher initiated a poll, urging fans to vote for the best finisher among Liverpool's ranks.

The options included Diogo Jota alongside esteemed names like Luis Suarez, Robbie Fowler, and Mohamed Salah. This poll highlights the recognition of the Portuguese international's prowess, underscoring his growing significance as a pivotal component of Liverpool's attacking force, particularly in the absence of their revered Egyptian King.

Jota's proficiency in finding the back of the net from challenging angles solidifies his status as one of the most formidable forwards when in top form. His goal-scoring prowess was not the sole highlight, as his adept playmaking skills played a pivotal role in Liverpool securing the lead through Darwin Nunez. Recognizing his all-around impact, the Portuguese international was rightfully named the Man of the Match.

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Edited by Ashwin