Liverpool went to the summit of the Premier League for at least a couple of hours after a resounding 4-0 victory away at Bournemouth.
The Reds took 25 minutes to break the deadlock, but there was more than a hint of offside about the goal. Roberto Firmino's 25 yard strike was too hot for Asmir Begovic to handle, and Mohamed Salah was there to pounce on the rebound. The Egyptian appeared to be in an offside position when the initial shot was taken, however.
Despite their dominance during the first half, the Reds only led by one goal when the sides went in for half time.
Liverpool needed just two minutes of the second half to extend their lead, Firmino was instrumental once again, winning the ball back in Bournemouth's half and releasing Salah
The away side put the game beyond doubt in the 67th minute, an Andrew Robertson cross was comically turned into his own net by Steve Cook to put the Reds 3-0 up. Salah put the icing on the cake just ten minutes later to complete his hat trick.
A lofted through ball from Adam Lallana wasn't dealt with by Cook and Salah went round Begovic twice before prodding the ball past Ake on the line. Cook's nightmare afternoon was complete. Liverpool were full value for their victory, they found the perfect balance between a potent attack defensive solidity.
Key Talking Point
With Callum Wilson ruled out with a knock, Bournemouth's attack was severely dented before a ball was even kicked.
The Cherries lacked a cutting edge all game, and look a totally different side without their top goalscorer. Josh King, while talented, doesn't offer the same threat.
Starting XI: Begovic (5); Francis (6), Cook (4), Ake (5), Daniels (6); Stanislas (5), Surman (6), Lerma (6*), Fraser (6); Brooks (6); King (5).
Substitutes: Mousset (N/A), Mings (N/A), Rico (N/A).
STAR MAN - Jefferson Lerma
Nobody in the Bournemouth particularly stood out, but the defensive midfielder did his best against wave after wave of Liverpool attacks.
His side may have conceded four times, but he did his best to protect the back four.
WORST PLAYER - Steve Cook
The centre back was outpaced, outmuscled and quite frankly embarrassed by Salah all afternoon. A catastrophic own goal put the game beyond the home side to complete his misery.
It's never easy to play against Salah, but Cook did an exceptionally bad job of it.
Key Talking Point
After Jurgen Klopp named a rotated side to face Burnley in midweek, the Reds were close to full strength against Bournemouth, and it showed.
The strength in depth this Liverpool squad has in every position can only be matched or bettered by Manchester City, and the Reds look like they'll push the champions all the way this season.
Starting XI: Alisson (6); Milner (6), Van Dijk (5), Matip (6), Robertson (6); Fabinho (5), Wijnaldum (6), Keita (6); Shaqiri (6), Firmino (8), Salah (9*).
Substitutes: Mane (N/A), Lallana (6), Henderson (N/A).
STAR MAN - Mohamed Salah
There's been a lot of talk as to whether the Egyptian could even come close to replicating his spectacular form from last season, today's performance may have shut some critics up.
⚽️⚽️⚽️ @MoSalah scores his 2nd @LFC hat-trick — Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) December 8, 2018
1st Liverpool player to score an away @premierleague hat-trick since @LuisSuarez9 v Cardiff in March 2014
He has now scored 5️⃣ goals in 3️⃣ apps v Bournemouth #BOULIV pic.twitter.com/ttdADYUUqt
Salah was clinical with every chance he got, and the composure he showed in front of goal was a throwback to last season.
WORST PLAYER - Fabinho
The Brazilian still looks to be struggling to find his feet in English football, and picked up a yellow card against Bournemouth.
His range of passing still needs some work, but in truth this wasn't a bad performance, he simply wasn't as good as his teammates.