Liverpool had some harsh words thrown their way after the defeat at Manchester United on Monday.
Former vice-captain Jamie Carragher called it “embarrassing” as they started the Premier League season in sluggish manner with two draws and the loss at Old Trafford.
It came just a couple of months on from last season’s exploits, when they came agonisingly close to football immortality, winning the Carabao Cup and FA Cup but then finishing runners-up in the Premier League by a point and losing the Champions League final against Real Madrid.
Manager Jurgen Klopp has set high standards during his time at Anfield and there is his side failed to meet them so far this term, but Bournemouth’s arrival on Merseyside gave the Reds a chance to remind their rivals of their credentials.
Liverpool’s performance was an impressive display of relentless, attacking football that led to the home side winning 9-0, equalling the biggest victory in Premier League history – with fans left chanting for 10.
Asked by BBC Sport how the result ranked personally, Klopp pointed to the performance of his team.
“Nine-nil is a strange result, it will not happen often,” said the German.
“It just feels a very important result, it is not that we worked less in the last eight weeks, we were all in a really good mood, liked what we saw most of the time but you don’t get it on the ground.
“You have to turn a few other screws and that is our job. When it turns out like today it is fantastic. Everybody should celebrate today, go out and have a nice weekend.”
There was optimism around Liverpool when, inspired by new signing Darwin Nunez, they defeated champions Manchester City in the Community Shield, but the Reds lacked their usual spark in draws against Fulham and Crystal Palace.
The loss at Old Trafford was their first in the league of 2022 and they responded on Saturday by taking apart newly promoted Bournemouth with a ruthless showing in front of their own supporters.
Luis Diaz and Harvey Elliott set them on the way with goals in the opening five minutes and Trent Alexander-Arnold’s thunderbolt, Roberto Firmino’s close-range finish and Virgil van Dijk’s header made it 5-0 at the break.
The hosts scored four more times in the second half courtesy of Chris Mepham’s own goal, Fabio Carvalho’s first for the club then Diaz and Firmino both adding to their tallies.
“We had to prove a point for us,” said Klopp. “I loved the start so much, we didn’t hold anything back – putting them under pressure. We got early goals and kept going with the same purpose.
“It was important we kept going, if you let them score one you have a bitter taste in a wonderful afternoon. At 6-0 we could bring on the kids – it was a perfect football afternoon for us.
“We all know we needed something like that. We had bigger chances in other games and did not use them.”
England defender Alexander-Arnold said: “We had a point to prove after three disappointing games but the main thing was to come out and win and we did it in fantastic fashion.”
Teenager Elliott, who scored his first Premier League goal with a sublime curling effort, said: “It is a massive relief for us and our fans to put in a performance and show people who doubted us. We’re buzzing.”
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