Liverpool player ratings as Salah, Firmino and Mane all score 8s in 3-0 win over Bournemouth

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Liverpool's front three were on fire again.

Liverpool quietened any talk of nerves affecting their Premier League title race as a 3-0 win over Bournemouth sent them three points clear at the top.

Sadio Mane, Georginio Wijnaldum, and Mohamed Salah got the goals as Jurgen Klopp’s side produced a classy display to cruise to victory.

Here’s a look at how the players rated.

STARTING XI

Alisson 7 –  Had little to deal with in the Liverpool goal, just what the doctor ordered after a few shaky displays. When he was called into action, the Brazilian didn’t put a foot wrong.

James Milner 8 – If the Reds do win the title, they will owe a lot to Milner’s versatility. An assist from right-back as his cross was perfectly delivered for Sadio Mane to score.

Joel Matip 8 – Another solid display from Liverpool’s third-choice centre-back. Matip’s form has given Klopp a welcome headache as he’ll have a decision to make when Joe Gomez makes his return from injury.

Virgil van Dijk 8 – Anchored Liverpool’s first clean sheet in four games and just their second in 2019, producing another imperious performance at the back.

Andrew Robertson 8 – Another productive display from the Reds’ star full-back, who looked stunning going forward as well as being equally consistent in defence.

Georginio Wijnaldum 8 – A beautiful goal to double the advantage, nonchalantly chipping over Artur Boruc to put his side in command. Part of an all-action performance from the midfielder.

Fabinho 8 – The Brazilian has become the glue of this side and he was at it again on Saturday, helping Liverpool keep their foot on the gas by controlling the game in midfield.

Naby Keita 7 – Signs of improvement from the midfielder, who was the architect of the move for the third goal with a nicely clipped ball for Roberto Firmino.

Mohamed Salah 8 – Scored his fourth goal in five games, rounding off a flowing move with a wonderful first-time finish to stretch his lead atop the league’s scoring charts.

Roberto Firmino 8 – Produced a lovely back-heeled assist for Salah’s goal, another reminder of what he brings to this Liverpool team. Should have scored late on, producing a tame shot at the end of a break.

Sadio Mane 8 – Settled any nerves Liverpool may have been feeling with a good header for the opening goal – scoring for the fourth straight game – and was typically lively throughout.

SUBSTITUTES

Trent Alexander-Arnold 6 – A welcome return for Liverpool, as the young right-back had missed the Reds’ last three games. Missed a glorious chance to score right at the end.

Divock Origi N/A – A late entrant to proceedings, coming on for Mane in the 87th minute, but had no chance to affect the game.

Daniel Sturridge N/A – Came on in the 90th minute for Firmino, with little time to make an impact.

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Liverpool return to top of the table with win over Bournemouth

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Liverpool returned to the top of the Premier League with a comfortable 3-0 win over Bournemouth at Anfield.

The Reds put aside their recent anxieties as they lifted themselves three points above champions Manchester City with goals from Sadio Mane, Georginio Wijnaldum and Mohamed Salah.

Mane rewarded Jurgen Klopp’s men for their early dominance by heading home his fourth goal in four matches after 24 minutes and Wijnaldum added a second with a neat lob 10 minutes later. Salah made victory certain early in the second half and the Egyptian also hit the bar in a confident display.

Both Liverpool and City have now played 26 games but the champions will have a chance to return to the summit when they host Chelsea on Sunday.

Paul Pogba scored twice as Manchester United moved into the top four – for a day at least – with an impressive 3-0 win at Fulham. Anthony Martial was also on target as United registered their 10th win in 11 matches in all competitions under interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Martial set up Pogba’s opener after 14 minutes and doubled the lead before the interval. Pogba’s second came from the penalty spot after Juan Mata was fouled.
Fulham remain 19th in the table and well adrift of safety after their 17th loss of the campaign.

Cardiff climbed out of the bottom three as they snatched a dramatic 2-1 win over Southampton in a remarkable finish at St Mary’s Stadium.

Kenneth Zohore struck for the Bluebirds, who were playing their first match since confirmation of the death of record signing Emiliano Sala, in the third minute of stoppage time.

Jack Stephens thought he had saved a point for Saints when he turned home from a corner just moments earlier. Sol Bamba had opened the scoring after 69 minutes.

Bottom side Huddersfield slumped to their 19th defeat as Arsenal won 2-1 at the John Smith’s Stadium.

Alex Iwobi opened the scoring after 16 minutes when his volleyed effort slipped through the grasp of Ben Hamer. The effort did appear to take a deflection off Terence Kongolo but it was nevertheless a poor one for the keeper to concede.

Alexandre Lacazette struck the Gunners’ second on the stroke of half-time after good work from Ainsley Maitland-Niles. Huddersfield’s consolation came in the form of a late own goal from Sead Kolasinac.

Watford piled the pressure on their former manager Marco Silva as the Hornets beat Everton 1-0 at Vicarage Road.

Andre Gray scored the winner after 65 minutes, sweeping home a Will Hughes ball after a neat backheel from Craig Cathcart.

Everton did hit the woodwork through Gylfi Sigurdsson and Lucas Digne but their recent slump continued. It was the Toffees’ 10th defeat in 16 games in all competitions.

Wilfried Zaha rescued a point for Crystal Palace as Roy Hodgson’s side hit back for a 1-1 draw against West Ham at Selhurst Park.

Zaha netted from a tight angle 14 minutes from time to cancel out Mark Noble’s first-half penalty.

Noble had struck from the spot on 27 minutes after goalkeeper Vicente Guaita fouled Michail Antonio.

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Praise from Pep as Sergio Aguero nears another Man City milestone

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Pep Guardiola has hailed the enduring class of Sergio Aguero as the striker nears another Manchester City goalscoring milestone.

The Argentinian, with 157 league goals, is one short of equalling the club record held jointly by Tommy Johnson and Eric Brook.

Aguero, 30, is already the club’s overall record scorer, having powered on to 219 since surpassing Brook’s previous best mark of 177 last season.

City manager Guardiola said: “The big players need to appear in the key games, the big moments, and he did it. Hopefully he can continue doing it. In the big games we need important players.

“(It is) not (Maurizio) Sarri, Pep, Jurgen (Klopp) or any manager. This game belongs to the players and important games belong to special players. That’s what he’s about.

Aguero has been nothing short of sensational at City.

Aguero has been nothing short of sensational at City.

“Sometimes the best tennis players, when they need a point to save a break, they make ace. The big moments, always the big athletes come.

“Sometimes players hide in those moments but others step forward and say, ‘I’m the boss and I’m going to win this game’. The big clubs need these kind of players. It’s simple.”

Aguero’s next such big game could be Sunday’s home Premier League clash with Chelsea, when City will be hoping to put more pressure on Liverpool in the title race. He has scored 12 goals in 16 appearances against the Londoners.

Coincidentally, Chelsea are now managed by Sarri, who was Napoli boss when Aguero struck his record-breaking 178th City goal in a Champions League group match.

City actually beat Napoli home and away in the competition but Guardiola was impressed by Sarri and he continues to be, despite recent criticism of the Italian following recent Chelsea results.

Sarri’s side, who are 12 points behind City, lost two in succession before last week’s 5-0 thrashing of Huddersfield.

Guardiola said: “I met him last season when we played against Napoli and I was so curious because I enjoyed, a lot, watching his Napoli.

“Winning in Italy is not easy with Juventus but they made 90 points and played incredible football.

“I think the season from Chelsea is exceptional. They are in the final of the Carabao Cup, in the Europa League they went through easy, and in the Premier League they are there.

“Even if people don’t believe it, they have a chance to be champions. Nine points, 12 points – there are a lot of games to play. In the FA cup they are still there as well.”

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