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Salah hat trick puts Liverpool top with win at Bournemouth

183   //    09 Dec 2018, 03:33 IST
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BOURNEMOUTH, England (AP) — Mohamed Salah scored his first hat trick of the season as Liverpool went top of the Premier League with a 4-0 victory over Bournemouth on Saturday.

Liverpool moved a point ahead of Manchester City after the champions lost 2-0 at Chelsea.

Despite a hint of offside, Salah broke the deadlock midway in the 25th minute as he tucked away a parried shot.

Salah scored again three minutes into the second half in an example of perseverance over play-acting, with the striker refusing to go down under a challenge from Steve Cook before drilling home in style.

Liverpool took a three-goal lead thanks to an acrobatic own-goal in the 68th from Cook, who somehow back-heeled past goalkeeper Asmir Begovic when trying to deal with Andy Robertson's cross.

Salah completed his hat trick by keeping cool in front of goal after a mazy dribble to complete the rout in the 77th.

"Whatever you do in a football game, you need someone to finish it off, and what Mo did around his two goals in the second half is just exceptional," Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said. "I don't know many players who would score those two goals. The first in the second half was a foul actually but he wants to score, stays on his feet and still scores. Not the most impressive finish, but surprising."

Liverpool equaled its club record of 17 Premier League matches unbeaten. Now the five-time European champions have a must-win match at home to Napoli on Tuesday to advance to the Champions League round of 16.