Wijnaldum, Mane, Salah 8/10 as Liverpool notch big win vs. Bournemouth
LIVERPOOL, England -- Liverpool returned to the top of the Premier League with an emphatic 3-0 win over Bournemouth on Saturday.
Sadio Mane, Georginio Wijnaldum and Mohamed Salah scored the goals at Anfield as Liverpool's title charge got back on track after dropping points in their last two matches. Manchester City, however, can reclaim the top spot on goal difference with a victory over Chelsea on Sunday.
When Liverpool needed to deliver, they did, and then some. All the talk leading up to the game was about how Liverpool were showing signs of nerves in the title race after poor draws with Leicester City and West Ham United. Yet the pre-blip Liverpool returned and swatted Bournemouth aside with ease.
The title is still in their hands, and Liverpool may have emerged from a rough patch of the season with 11 points from a possible 18. Meanwhile, Wijnaldum's brilliant season should get the recognition it deserves after his goal. Naby Keita, too, can build on this game.
Looking ahead, Liverpool's game in hand over City is a visit to the in-form Manchester United. United recorded their 10th win out of 11 under new boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the hours before the Bournemouth game.
Manager rating out of 10
8 -- Klopp made just one change to his lineup. Despite the similar personnel, the performance was entirely different from those in the back-to-back draws. Liverpool's pressing was much sharper, as was their ability to break down a congested and narrow opposition. Klopp's side's third goal is one to watch again and again.
Player ratings: (1-10; 10=best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Alisson, 7 -- A good save in the second minute to deny Ryan Fraser. Any lapse in concentration from the Brazilian may have led to a different result.
DF James Milner, 6 -- He claims another assist for a Mane goal, although this time, Milner was certainly onside. The midfielder will be relieved to see full-time right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold return from injury.
DF Virgil van Dijk, 6 -- A decent performance. He will be hugely missed when Liverpool return after a 10-day break. The centre-half is suspended for the first leg of the last-16 Champions League tie with Bayern Munich.
MF Georginio Wijnaldum, 8 -- Sorely missed against West Ham United and was vital to this win, scoring his second goal of the season, an audacious chip over Artur Boruc.
MF Fabinho, 7 -- This was a very good performance from the tenacious midfielder. He also displayed his eye for a pass numerous times.
MF Naby Keita, 7 -- Turns 24 on Sunday and can enjoy his birthday after a very encouraging outing. Obvious to see he was playing with much more confidence. His through-ball in the buildup to Salah's goal was exquisite.
FW Sadio Mane, 8 -- The speedster has now scored in four consecutive Premier League matches in a single season for the first time.
FW Roberto Firmino, 7 -- His flick to put Salah through on goal was truly world-class. It was a more typical performance from the No. 9 after the stinker at West Ham.
FW Mohamed Salah, 8 -- Looked determined to end a two-game goal drought from the first second and did so with a cool finish to round off a lovely move for the final goal.
DF Trent Alexander-Arnold (76), N/R -- Liverpool finally have a recognised right-back fit, with Alexander-Arnold returning after nearly a month out.
FW Divock Origi (87), N/R -- Another appearance for the back-up striker.
FW Daniel Sturridge (90), N/R -- His introduction allowed for Firmino to receive a standing ovation.