Sunday Express - - PREMIER LEAGUE - By

AS Steve Cook dis­cov­ered, not even the dark­est of de­fen­sive arts can stop Mo Salah when he’s in this sort of form.

Bournemouth were al­ready trail­ing to a Salah strike – one which, ad­mit­tedly, should have been ruled out for off­side – when the Egyp­tian got in be­hind the home de­fence af­ter the break.

Cook re­sorted to one of the old­est tricks in the book as Salah ran through on goal, scrap­ing his studs down the Liver­pool man’s Achilles. It was the sort of chal­lenge that would have seen plenty of oth­ers go down look­ing for a penalty.

But not Salah.

He stayed on his feet, stead­ied him­self and slot­ted a fine fin­ish past As­mir Be­govic.

Salah (be­low) didn’t bother with a cel­e­bra­tion, choos­ing in­stead to give Cook the death stare.

Not that he was look­ing – the Bournemouth man bowed his head in what was surely ac­cep­tance that he’d been done by one of the best play­ers in our game.

Poor old Cook had a tor­rid af­ter­noon try­ing to keep the Liver­pool for­ward at bay and his mis­ery was com­pounded when he turned home Andy Robert­son’s cross for the visitors’ third.

It was some fin­ish from the de­fender, to be fair, a kind of Cruyff-turn-vol­ley which gave Be­govic no chance. Cook wasn’t fin­ished there, though, and just when he thought things couldn’t get much worse he lunged to­wards Adam Lal­lana’s through-ball.

He suc­ceeded only in push­ing it into Salah’s path, how­ever, and that was all the in­vi­ta­tion the striker needed to com­plete his hat-trick in glo­ri­ous fash­ion.

Salah put Be­govic on his back­side, then did it again for good mea­sure as he twisted one way then the other. And he fin­ished things off with a non­cha­lant flick with the out­side of his left boot with Nathan Ake stranded on the goal-line.

Bournemouth boss Ed­die Howe con­ceded: “Salah was very good. He looked ra­zor-sharp. We did strug­gle to han­dle him. He’s one of the best in the world.”

And Liver­pool boss Jur­gen

Klopp added: “Ed­die Howe is one of the best man­agers I have ever met, so how could I say some­thing dif­fer­ent?

“What­ever you do in a foot­ball game you need some­body to fin­ish it off, and what Mo did around his two goals in the sec­ond half was just ex­cep­tional.

“The first is a foul but he wants to score goals and stands on his feet and scores it. His third goal is out­stand­ing again. How he set it up was good.”

Cook wasn’t the only Bournemouth player off-colour and even if they’d had Cal­lum Wil­son in their side – he was ruled out with a ham­string in­jury – there’s lit­tle chance the out­come would have been dif­fer­ent.

This vic­tory made it 17 games un­beaten for Liver­pool and was a great way for James Mil­ner, handed the cap­tain’s arm­band with Jor­dan Hen­der­son on the bench, to cel­e­brate his 500th Pre­mier League game.

Two-time ti­tle win­ner Mil­ner has played with some won­der­ful tal­ents in a fine ca­reer and it’s un­likely he’ll rate too many bet­ter than Salah.

Bournemouth looked jit­tery early on and sev­eral times Liver­pool’s press­ing forced turnovers.

Howe was frus­trated af­ter re­plays showed Salah was off­side when Firmino shot.

He said: “The first goal had a mas­sive bear­ing on the game.

“Liver­pool hadn’t opened us up at that point and the goal shouldn’t have stood.”

Bournemouth 0 Liver­pool 4 Tom Hop­kin­son

I’M STILL STAND­ING:Salah stays on his feet to score his sec­ond CAP: try to make it full out !!!!!!!!!

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.