An irresistible Liverpool performance completely dismantled Bournemouth and made it a comfortable evening on the south coast for the Merseysiders with a thumping 4-0 victory.
Philippe Coutinho, Dejan Lovren and Mohamed Salah were amongst the goals in the first half, while Roberto Firmino finished the job off in the second half.
The match could have been so different, however, had Jermain Defoe scored a golden opportunity at 2-0.
This fixture last season was one of the games of the year, a last minute goal giving the Cherries a dramatic 4-3 win having been 3-1 down. Another goalfest was anticipated in this game, with two of the league's most attack-minded teams facing each other. The question on everyone's lips was which Liverpool team would turn up, with inconsistency being the order of the day on Merseyside.
Liverpool began on the front foot, and were inches away from taking the lead in the 11th minute. Last season's match winner for Bournemouth Nathan Ake clumsily brought down Roberto Firmino just outside the box, and Coutinho curled the resulting free-kick against the post.
But the Reds continued to threaten, and it was no surprise to see the brilliant Coutinho opening the scoring in the 20th minute. A fantastic mazy run bamboozled the Bournemouth defence, and he fired home from just inside the box.
Six minutes later it was two. A corner was deflected to the back post, where Firmino managed to hook the ball back into danger just before it went out of play, and Lovren reacted first with a diving header into the net.
Against this Liverpool team, though, you will always get opportunities, and long through balls were still looking hopeful for Bournemouth. In the 39th minute Junior Stanislas, who had come on for the injured Andy King, threaded a fantastic ball through to Defoe, who could only hit the inside of the post. For a player of his finishing abilities, it has to go down as a bad miss.
Liverpool's front three were still purring, and a stunning flick from Coutinho set up Salah, who could only volley straight at Begovic.
But the Egyptian was not to be denied a minute later. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain played him through, and after holding off Charlie Daniels he cut inside and finished in the corner to score his 20th goal of the season. Game over.
The second half began at a slower pace to the first, and it wasn't until the 59th minute that we saw another big chance, the lively Oxlade-Chamberlain hitting the outside of the post after a direct run.
But just five minutes later Bournemouth's misery was complete, Coutinho with a delicious cross to Firmino, who gave Asmir Begovic no chance with a powerful header, although there were suspicions that he was marginally offside.
With the game won Salah, Firmino and Coutinho were all withdrawn early to a rapturous reception from the Liverpool faithful, and the rest of the game was a procession.
Next up for Liverpool is a huge game against fellow top four chasers Arsenal on Friday night at the Emirates, while Bournemouth have a Carabao Cup Quarter final away against Chelsea on Wednesday night before a daunting looking trip to Manchester City on Saturday.
If the Cherries perform like they did today, it may not be a question of whether City will win, but whether Bournemouth can restrict them to a single figure scoreline.