Klopp hails Liverpool spirit

Boss Jurgen Klopp is happy that his Liverpool players continue to show that they have the fighting qualities needed to stay the pace in the Premier League title race.

The Reds restored a seven-point lead at the top of the table thanks to a 4-3 win over Crystal Palace at Anfield on Saturday, with Klopp delighted to see his side recover from conceding the first goal of the game.

The German told his club's official website: "Nobody should be surprised about the character of the boys. If something was really here before I came in, it was character.

"I have known the boys since October 2015, all the boys that were here, and they have outstanding character.

"The work-rate was always unbelievable, so you have to mix it up with a few other attributes. Confidence is important, self-belief and all that stuff. The boys are ready to fight for it all – that is clear."

Mo Salah scored twice against the Eagles to reach 50 goals in the Premier League in just 72 appearances, with Klopp adding: "Exceptional – an exceptional achievement from a world-class player, that's how it is."

Liverpool now have a significant break from action, as an early exit from the FA Cup means their next game is a league visit from Leicester City on Wednesday 30th January.

The Reds are available at 2/11 to win the game against the Foxes and are 13/2 to triumph by a 3-0 scoreline, with Liverpool 8/13 to be crowned Premier League champions come the end of the season.

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Reds hit the right note

Jurgen Klopp felt Liverpool's 1-0 win over Brighton wasn't 'an opera of football but it was a really nice song' as they moved seven points clear in the Premier League title race.

Mohamed Salah scored the only goal from the penalty spot shortly after half-time, the Egyptian forward having been upended in the area by Pascal Gross.

Brighton contained the league leaders for long spells, and even had a chance to level late on when Naby Keita gave the ball away and it almost fell in the box for Jurgen Locadia after Trent Alexander-Arnold sliced a clearance.

Salah had passed up a glorious chance to double his tally entering stoppage time when he somehow poked wide from six-yards with the goal at his mercy after good work from James Milner.

Still, after back-to-back league and cup losses against Manchester City and Wolves, the Liverpool manager was delighted to win – in whatever style it was done.

"It was very hard but that is how it is. It was a massive game today. Everyone knows how difficult it is to go to Brighton," said Klopp.

"You have to be creative against a really good, organised side. It was a mature performance from my side. I really like that as this season it is quite a new skill and I'd like us to keep that.

"We learned from the first half and the second half was better. I liked the performance. It wasn't an opera of football but it was a really nice song."

Liverpool are 1/7 to win their next game at home to Crystal Palace on Saturday. The Eagles are 14/1 while the draw is 7/1.

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Premier League: Mo on the Mark to Shoot Down Seagulls

Brighton & Hove Albion 0-1 Liverpool

Liverpool went seven points clear at the top of the Premier League today thanks to a hard-fought win at the Amex Stadium.

Mo Salah scored the only goal of the game, from the penalty spot, to get Jurgen Klopp’s title challenge back on track.  Brighton made it very tough, and this was a huge result for the Reds. The title chase looks like going right down to the wire, and you won’t miss a single twist or turn right here at us.

Liverpool fans will now be nervously watching the Premier League 2019 results over the rest of the weekend, particularly Manchester City’s home game against Wolves on Monday night. But for now, the league table looks just fine for the Merseysiders.

Highlights of the game

This was never going to be easy for Liverpool against a Brighton side which is strong at home, and the first half was very hard work for Jurgen Klopp’s men.

Liverpool saw plenty of the ball in the opening exchanges but the Seagulls’ defence was well organised as ever, and it took until the tenth minute for the Reds to carve out an opening. Andy Robertson put in a super cross just behind Sadio Mane, and Roberto Firmino got on the end of it but poked the ball just wide.

Brighton made a foray into the visitors’ half, and Pascal Gross swung in a cross which leading scorer Glenn Murray headed over the bar. Then Xherdan Shaqiri came close to breaking the deadlock, on 27 minutes, when he headed a Trent Alexander-Arnold cross just wide. But for all the Reds’ possession, they couldn’t produce a clear-cut chance before the break.

Brighton's David Button vs Mo Salah during their Premier League clash

Brighton’s David Button looks dejected

The Reds managed their first shot on target, on 48 minutes, when Mo Salah put Sadio Mane through, but his low shot was well saved by David Button.

Liverpool are rumoured to be preparing a £15m bid to bring Pascal Gross to Anfield but they probably didn’t expect much help from him in this game. It was Gross who presented the Reds with their chance when he put in a clumsy tackle to bring Salah down in the penalty area. The referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot, and the Egyptian hitman climbed to his feet to power the ball through Button’s hand and into the net.

It was hard on Brighton who had defended so well, and Gross tried to make amends at the other end only to see his shot charged down by Fabinho. The Seagulls were still in the game as the Reds held a slender lead and forced a succession of corners. But Liverpool are always dangerous. When Firmino burst through on goal, Button managed to deflect the ball wide.

For all Brighton’s good defensive work, they didn’t really threaten the Liverpool goal. And it was the visitors who looked likely to add to their lead as the clock ticked down. Salah did well to put Sane in for a late attempt, but his shot was deflected wide. Salah himself should have scored when James Milner squared to him but he scuffed his shot.

Key statistics

While Liverpool had enjoyed over 77 per cent possession by half-time, they could only muster four attempts on goal and none on target.

The Reds fired three at Button’s goal in the second half as they won the full match shot count by ten to seven, but the Seagulls didn’t manage a single shot on Liverpool’s goal.

Salah’s penalty was, amazingly, the fourth awarded to Liverpool since Christmas Day! It was Mo Salah’s 14th goal of the league season. And the Reds have now won all six of the meetings between these two sides since 2011. It ended a decent run for the Seagulls who had won two and drawn two of the last four games.

The Premier League 2019 odds are still backing the Reds, but anything other than a win today would have changed that. It was a narrow victory, but still three priceless points.

What’s next?

Liverpool have never lost back-to-back Premier League games under Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp applauds the fans at the end of the match

Brighton have another tough game against a top-six team next week when they visit Old Trafford. Liverpool fans will be cheering the Seagulls on against Manchester United as the Red Devils attempt to continue their upturn in form.

Liverpool’s recent defeat to Manchester City piled the pressure on Jurgen Klopp’s team, but they have responded well and can look forward to a return to home next week. It’s back to Anfield where the visitors are Brighton’s rivals, Crystal Palace, and a great chance for the Reds to keep marching on.

 

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Premier League: It’s All About Value in the English Top Flight!

The Premier League is in the business of sports, and with the January transfer window thrown into the mix, all the talk has been about contracts, value and accomplishments.

Tottenham Hotspur star Harry Kane and Liverpool favourite Mo Salah are the stars of the week, as they make waves recently with their accomplishments.

Kane delighted the Three Lions country with his sudden rise on the list of the most expensive football players in the world. The same goes for Salah, but the Egyptian King is having a greater time after winning the African Player of the Year award for the second year running.

Meanwhile, speaking about contracts and value, Manchester City are reportedly set to offer a new contract to their captain, Vincent Kompany, when his deal expires in the summer.

Here are the full stories of all the Premier League trending news today:

Harry Kane more valuable than Neymar, Lionel Messi

Harry Kane has been sensational for Tottenham and the England national team in 2018—even helping the Three Lions reach the World Cup 2018 semi-final in Russia—so it’s no wonder why his value increased even more.

What’s interesting, however, is that he is now the second most valuable footballer in the world, only behind Paris Saint-Germain youngster and World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe.

Based on transfer values of players calculated by the CIES Football Observatory, Kane is valued at €200.3 m​illion. For what it’s worth, PSG striker Neymar is at €197.1m for third, while Barcelona legend Lionel Messi is down to seventh with a market value of €171.2m.

With his dominance in & out of Premier League, Harry Kane becomes the second most valuable player in the world

Tottenham star Harry Kane celebrates after hitting the winning goal during their League Cup semi-final clash against Chelsea

Even more remarkable, 11 other players from the Premier League made it to the top 20.

Manchester City have four players who made it, headed by Raheem Sterling at no.4. Leroy Sane (10th), Gabriel Jesus (15) and Bernardo Silva (16) are among those included from the Sky Blues.

On the other hand, also featured are the Liverpool deadly trio of Mohamed Salah (5th), Roberto Firmino (13th) and Sadio Mane (14th).

Romelu Lukaku (8th) and Paul Pogba (17th) represent Manchester United, while Eden Hazard (18th) is the only Chelsea player to make it. Playmaker Dele Alli joins Kane as the only Tottenham players on the list.

With the transfers heating up this month, this valuations couldn’t come at a better time. Tottenham, in particular, could be sellers this winter transfer window, and the CIES list should only help them in their quest to get the best Premier League 2019 results.

Mo Salah is African Player of the Year again

No other African player has had a year quite like Mo Salah. And so unsurprisingly, the so-called Egyptian King was named 2018 CAF Football Player of the Year.

The 26-year-old forward won the honour for the second year in a row, beating Liverpool teammate Sadio Mane and Arsenal and Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for the award.

Salah guided Egypt to their first appearance in the World Cup, and that alone warrants an award. However, that milestone is only the icing on the cake for what had been an eventful 2018 for him.

The former Roma player scored 44 times for Liverpool during the 2017-18 campaign. He helped the Reds reach the Champions League final last year and finish no.4 in the Premier League, getting the top-scorer award in the process.

Salah has already made 13 goals in the English top-flight this campaign, and he is expected to continue leading Liverpool in their chase for the title.

The Premier league 2019 odds at us favour Salah and Co. to take the silverware in May. The club leads the race with a four-point lead over reigning champions Manchester City.

Vincent Kompany, one more year with Manchester City?

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has confirmed that they are working out a deal with Vincent Kompany to keep the skipper at the Etihad for at least one more season.

Kompany’s injury troubles have reportedly irked Guardiola in the past, but with the Belgium international improving his fitness, the team is reportedly leaning on re-signing him.

In fact, the 32-year-old defender featured for the team in their showdown with Liverpool last week—a game which saw the Sky Blues win 2-1 to keep their back-to-back dreams alive.

According to reports, Kompany could feature again for the team when they play Burton Albion in the EFL Cup semi-final.

“We are considering it, we are talking about that,” Guardiola said when asked about offering Kompany a new deal. “I would like it. He’s our captain, 11 years here.”

“We saw in the last two games the huge quality and personality he has to play, the only problem with Vincent is one – his injury problems.”

Premier League champions Manchester City are up to offer a new contract for Vincent Kompany

Manchester City’s Vincent Kompany celebrates after his side sealed a 2-1 win over Liverpool

It remains to be seen how the two parties are structuring the contract, but there’s no doubt Kompany is proving himself worthy as a starter for Manchester City again. As Guardiola noted, they are “better when Vincent plays.”

“Laporte has a better left foot. Every central defender has his own quality but there’s no doubt Vincent has something special with his charisma, winning the duels,” the Spanish boss furthered.

 

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Reds extend lead again

Liverpool have established a six-point lead at the top of the Premier League following a 4-0 Boxing Day win over Newcastle at Anfield.

Jurgen Klopp's side had no problems dispatching the Magpies and former Reds favourite Rafael Benitez, with goals from Dejan Lovren early on, then Mohamed Salah, Xherdan Shaqiri and Fabinho in the second half.

Champions Manchester City meanwhile were throwing away a lead in losing 2-1 at Leicester City, ensuring it is now Tottenham that are Liverpool's nearest pursuers following their 5-0 win over Bournemouth at Wembley.

Klopp reflected on a 'job done' performance against a stubborn visiting side.

"The start of the game offensively was very lively, defensively a bit in between. I didn't like it too much," said the Liverpool manager.

"But apart from that the whole game was really good. We could've scored more, the chances were there with fantastic movements. Right to the end we were wanting to control the game but still wanted to score.

"It's difficult to break down Newcastle's formation. They worked hard but the boys stayed in the game and did the job."

Liverpool are 1/2 to beat Arsenal on Saturday at Anfield. The Gunners are 19/4 with the draw priced at 7/2.

Benitez reiterated his belief that 'a miracle' is needed to keep Newcastle in Premier League.

"You can see the difference between some teams. We have to carry on doing things right and we have to be better than three teams," said the Spaniard.

Klopp looks beyond trophies

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says he understands the desire for silverware but dismisses it being the only concern.

His team play Manchester United at Anfield on Sunday with a win moving them back to the top of the Premier League.

The Reds have been close to silverware during Klopp's time in charge, being runners-up in the League Cup and the Europa League in 2015-16 and beaten finalists in the Champions League last season.

The Premier League represents a good chance this season with Liverpool shaping up to be the main challengers to champions Manchester City. However Klopp has denied that winning trophies is the only focus.

He told the Daily Telegraph: "What I have to do is make the best of the things the club is offering me – that is what I believe in.

"If people say the Champions League campaign last season was not a success because we didn't win the final then I cannot change that. Is the finish successful? No, but the ride was brilliant. I enjoyed it a lot.

"The pressure is from outside, people saying if I don't win silverware then I have to leave. In the moment you find someone who can do the job better you have to take him."

Liverpool finished fourth in the Premier League last season; runners-up to City were Manchester rivals United but they are struggling to break into the top four this campaign.

They travel to Merseyside 16 points behind Liverpool and eight points adrift of Chelsea who sit fourth.

Liverpool are 8/15 to win the game with United 11/2 and the draw 7/2.

Liverpool look set to be without Joel Matip and Trent Alexander-Arnold for Sunday's game while Jose Mourinho is short on numbers in defence with Marcos Rojo, Chris Smalling, Matteo Darmian, Luke Shaw, Diogo Dalot and Victor Lindelof all doubtful.

Liverpool are 15/2 to win the game 1-0 while Mo Salah is 3/1 to score the first goal.

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Premier League Liverpool vs Manchester United: The Greatest Show!

Liverpool vs Manchester United

Roll up, roll up for the weekend’s blockbuster in the frozen north of England. Yes, it’s Premier League: Liverpool vs Manchester United!

This is the derby to end all derbies; the UK’s equivalent of El Clasico between two teams with the richest of traditions and more trophies than the rest put together. Thirty-eight league titles (20 for United and 18 for ‘Pool) and 8 European crowns (five for Liverpool and three for United) are testimonies to these two greatest of clubs.

But recent fortunes have been in contrast. After almost two decades of Manchester United dominance, the tables have turned and it’s now Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool that have a million dreams.

Klopp has turned his side into genuine title contenders, sitting at the top of the Premier League and sustaining a threat to Manchester City’s rule. The us odds on the title returning to Anfield have plummeted to 3.50 after City’s loss to Chelsea last week.

Meanwhile, the Red Devils are experiencing the other side of pressure. They struggle to find consistent form to the point that they are in danger of failing to even reach a Europa League slot, and that is never enough for the passionate United fans.

Talking Points

Liverpool must stay focussed and maintain momentum

Klopp brings his side into this match on the crest of a wave, having gone to the top of the Premier League and then emerging from a winner-takes-all clash with Napoli to keep their Champions League campaign on track. The mantra, on the league leaders’ training ground in the run-up to the Mersey/Manc derby, will be to ‘play the game and not the occasion’.

That may be easier said than done when the ref’s whistle blows and the Anfield Roar echoes around the stadium. But this Liverpool squad is strong from back to front; Alisson has been superb in goal while Virgil van Dijk is a tower of strength at centre-back. And the addition of Xherdan Shaqiri to Liverpool’s Fab Three of Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane up front makes for a frightening prospect.

Will the Red Devils come alive for the big game?

Jose Mourinho has been walking a tightrope this season, with one media outlet suggesting he was due for the sack a few weeks ago. But he’s still at Old Trafford and is still fighting. And Jose has always been a man for the big occasion.

He brings his side to Merseyside on the back of an underwhelming 2-1 defeat to Valencia after battling to a recent 2-2 draw with Arsenal. For all the talk of Jose’s failure to motivate his expensive stars, Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez, he still has that special touch with some. Luke Shaw and Ashley Young have benefitted hugely from his coaching. But what he needs, if he is to have any chance of emerging from Merseyside with a result, is togetherness. And what United fans would give to see the likes of Paul Scholes and Gary Neville lining up against their fierce rivals once more!

Jose Mourinho’s team faces injury concerns ahead of Premier League Liverpool vs Manchester United

Jurgen Klopp and Jose Mourinho ready to face each other in the Premier League

But Jose must face the leaders with what he has, which isn’t half bad. He has firepower in the form of Anthony Martial who has seven league goals, and arguably the best keeper in the league in David de Gea. But I think he should make use of Juan Mata’s attacking guile as United will need an outlet; their defence isn’t looking good enough to hold off Liverpool for 90-plus minutes.

History

The form table points to a Liverpool triumph. The hosts come into the game on a run of four consecutive wins while Manchester United won just one of the last four with it being a resounding 4-1 victory over Fulham.

United have conceded 26 goals in the Premier League, and that doesn’t auger well against Mo Salah, already the league’s joint leading scorer with ten.  Meanwhile, Liverpool conceded just six goals, and a goal difference of +28 compared to United’s +2 suggests the writing may be on the wall for the Red Devils.

But the Liverpool vs Manchester United results in the Premier League era still favour United with 30 wins to 18.

Last September, Jose came under a lot of criticism when he shut his shop down and took a 0-0 draw away from Anfield. That could be his strategy again, though I think it’s a risky one against a side which has won six and drawn one at home. But four of the last six meetings have been low-scoring draws, and the last two league clashes at Anfield have been goalless.

Betting tip

??
Liverpool vs Manchester United Liverpool, First Half 1×2 @2.17
December 17,2018 00:00 (GMT+8)

There is a gap of 16 points between these two teams after 16 games, and that illustrates a gulf in class. United have some top-class players, but Liverpool have a far better team at the moment. The Liverpool vs Manchester United betting odds make sorry reading for the Mancunians, with the hosts at 1.56 to win while Jose’s boys are out there at a huge 5.60.

I really can’t see the visitors holding out until half-time but, for an alternative bet, the odds of 0-0 are at 13.00 if you think Jose can make it three goalless draws at Anfield in a row.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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Klopp ready for outstanding tie

Liverpool head coach Jurgen Klopp expects his team to have to face an 'outstanding, strong opponent' in the last-16 of the Champions League.

A Mohamed Salah goal earned the Reds a crucial 1-0 victory over Napoli at Anfield, with the Merseysiders edging out the Italian outfit to join Paris Saint-Germain in the knockout stages.

And Klopp was delighted with the performance he watched on Tuesday evening, while accepting that finishing second in Group C could make things a little more difficult for last season's beaten finalists.

He told reporters: "We wait for the draw, no problem with that. Until tonight, I was really not sure we would be in the draw. Now we are in it, how could I sit here and ask for any team? I don't care.

"We are second in the group, so we will have an outstanding, strong opponent.

"This game was just amazing, it was outstanding, unbelievable. The boys played with their whole heart on the pitch – our offensive defending, our offensive pressing was some of the best I ever saw."

Meanwhile, Klopp played down knocks suffered by Joel Matip and James Milner against Napoli, with the German seemingly a little more concerned by the foot injury sustained by Trent Alexander-Arnold.

The Reds can now be backed at 10/1 to win the Champions League this season, with PSG priced at 8/1 and Manchester City 7/2.

Liverpool return to Premier League action on Sunday when they play host to Manchester United, with the hosts defending their current standing as table-toppers.

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Champions League: Mo Magic Does It Again

Liverpool 1-0 Napoli

It was always likely to be a dramatic denouement in Group C.

However, in the end, it was Liverpool who prevailed in the Champions League and Napoli—who finish level on points with the Merseysiders and on goal difference—will be playing in the Europa League when European combat resumes next spring.

Yes, it was mighty close, but the group ultimately went the way many us fans expected…and the way Champions League 2018 betting odds had largely predicted at the start of the competition.

Highlights of the game

When it mattered, it came down to two big moments.

The first arrived in the 34th minute.

An open game had seen chances for both sides before man of the moment Mohamed Salah, fresh his weekend Premier League hat-trick, deftly got the better of Kalidou Koulibaly and fired through David Ospina’s legs.

A superb finish combined with a far-from-convincing goalkeeping had led to the opening and what would prove to be the only goal of the encounter.

Liverpool's Alisson Becker guards Napoli thoroughly from hitting a goal in recent Champions League match

Liverpool’s Alisson Becker saves a goal from Napoli during their recent Champions League battle

The second was in stoppage time as substitute Arkadiusz Milik was denied by a superb block as Napoli fans behind the goal got ready to acclaim a last-gasp equaliser.

The save, for sure, will be replayed among the Champions League 2018 highlights.

In truth, Liverpool deserved to go through and would have only had themselves to blame after missing a number of gilt-edged chances—Salah, Sadio Mane (a former teammate of Koulibaly at Metz) and Virgil van Dijk the biggest culprits.

Yet, it didn’t matter as last season’s beaten finalists are through to the knockout stages.

Napoli, unbeaten in their other five Champions League group stage matches this season, knew they had to score to keep their hopes alive. However, until Milik late on, they had rarely threatened. Jose Callejon, though, wasted arguably their best opportunity.

Napoli, who had two wins and three draws before the game, had lost when they needed to keep that record intact most of all. Besides, the Partenopei would have been guaranteed a place even with a 2-1 or 3-2 loss.

Liverpool go through in second place behind Paris Saint-Germain, a feat achieved despite losing three away games in their group.

Key statistics

This was Lorenzo Insigne’s 50th appearance in UEFA club competition.

This defeat ended Napoli’s12-match unbeaten run (won eight, drawn four) which stretched back to a 3-1 loss at Juventus in late September.

Although coach Carlo Ancelotti won the Premier League and FA Cup double while in charge of Chelsea in 2010, Napoli have never won a match in England.

This was only the second time a home team has won a match referred by Damir Skomina in his last 11 games. It also ended Liverpool’s run of four defeats in which the Slovenian official has been the man in the middle.

Liverpool have progressed to the knockout stages in successive Champions League campaigns for the first time since 2008-09.

Napoli have not won any of their last seven Champions League away matches, losing five. Their last victory in the competition came against Benfica in December 2016.

Since the start of last season, Liverpool’s James Milner has provided more assists in the Champions League than any other player (nine).

This is the eighth time this season that double footballer of the year Salah has opened the scoring for Liverpool.

Van Dijk’s first-half booking means he will miss the first leg of their Round of 16 tie.

Liverpool are unbeaten in 16 home games in Europe since Jürgen Klopp was appointed in October 2015 (13 wins, three draws) and in their last 19 European home games in total.

Napoli are the eighth club Ancelotti has coached in the UEFA Champions League after Parma, Juventus, Milan, Chelsea, Paris St Germain, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.

The clubs had met only twice before this season, both in the 2010/11 Europa League group stage.

The game in Naples ended goalless. At Anfield, Ezequiel Lavezzi gave Napoli a first-half lead before Steven Gerrard’s hat-trick in the final 15 minutes secured a dramatic late win for Liverpool.

What’s next?

The draw for the Champions League knockout stages takes place next week.

Before that, however, Liverpool welcome archrivals Manchester United to Anfield in the Premier League. Then, they travel to Wolves a week later.

If they win both games, they are guaranteed to be top of the Premier League table on Christmas Day.

Napoli also have two matches this side of Christmas. They visit Cagliari in Serie A this weekend before a home match against SPAL in the following weekend.

Both clubs are in action again on Boxing Day.

 

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Premier League: Magical Mo Fires Liverpool to the Top!

Bournemouth 0-4 Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool climbed to the top of the Premier League table with a big win over Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium.

It may not be for long, but a hat-trick from Mo Salah sent the Reds on their way to the summit in a scintillating display of attacking football.

This is a good result for the impartial us Premier League fan as it means the race for the title is by no means a foregone conclusion. Premier League 2018 betting odds still back Manchester City to retain the trophy, but Liverpool sit proudly at the top for now.

Highlights of the game

In an interview after their Premier League game, Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe think Liverpool's first goal was offside

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe applauds the fans at the end of the match

Klopp rotated his side again, and the versatile James Milner took the right wing-back role in place of Joe Gomez, who suffered a fractured leg in the Reds’ hard-fought win at Burnley in midweek. The Liverpool boss was alarmed by the strength of the Clarets’ tackling during that bruising 90 minutes and has been embroiled in a war of words with Sean Dyche.

And Klopp’s words seemed to have paid off. Liverpool had the better of the opening exchanges, but Bournemouth fans were frustrated that referee Lee Mason booked two of their players for robust tackles while he was happy to accept similar challenges from Roberto Firmino and Milner. That seemed to prick the Cherries to force a smart save from Alisson: Josh King found David Brooks with a neat pass, and the winger’s shot was saved low to the keeper’s right.

But the Reds continued to dominate the ball, and they struck first. When the goal came, it was accompanied by a healthy dose of controversy. Asmir Begovic failed to hold on to a speculative shot from Firmino, and Mo Salah was first on hand to fire the ball home. However, he did arrive from a marginally offside position. It was Salah’s fourth goal in six outings, and despite the element of luck, it gave the Reds a deserved lead to take into the break.

Bournemouth had a mountain to climb against a team ready to take over at the top of the league, and it looked even more imposing just three minutes into the second half when Salah doubled the lead and his own account. Firmino intercepted a poor pass from Steve Cook and laid the ball forward to the Egyptian assassin, who ran at Nathan Ake before firing low into the bottom-left corner.

It was game well and truly over, on 68 minutes, when Andy Robertson raided down the left and put a dangerous low cross in, which the hapless Cook diverted past Begovic with what appeared to be a deft backheel! And it got even worse for poor Cook when he was outpaced by Salah before the red-hot striker rounded the keeper and poked his third home.

Key statistics

So Liverpool are at least top of the league for a few hours, having equalled their longest unbeaten run in the Premier League of 17 games. This includes the last game of last season.

Forty-two points from 16 matches are the Reds’ best ever start to a top-flight season, and keeper Alisson is unbeaten in his opening 16 Premier League games for Liverpool which is a club record.

Bournemouth had suffered four straight defeats until their narrow win against Huddersfield in midweek. After this thumping, Howe will be pleased his side made such a fast start to the campaign. They are still in a handy position with 23 points from 16 games.

The hosts have still only beaten Liverpool once in 14 attempts, and they never really came close today. Had the linesman flagged the first goal offside, it may have been a closer game, but the Reds’ win was ultimately resounding.

What’s next?

Alisson is the goalkeeper with most clean sheets in the Premier League(10) this season

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe shakes hands with Liverpool’s Alisson at the end of the match

After a great start to the season, the Cherries are on a tricky run with five defeats in six. And they don’t have an easy ride next week when they visit Premier League new boys Wolves.

On their long journey home, the Liverpool fans could look forward to keeping up with the afternoon’s Premier League 2018 updates, with a close eye on Manchester City’s massive game away to Chelsea.

Then it’s back to business as Liverpool have a vital Champions League fixture to play on Tuesday against Napoli. After three away defeats in the competition, they now have to beat Carlo Ancelotti’s Napoli to progress; that will be one tough nut to crack.

But just for now, the Reds are in ecstasy.

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