Bournemouth 0-4 Liverpool: Nunez and Jota at the double

Darwin Nunez and Diogo Jota claimed second-half doubles as Premier League leaders Liverpool moved five points clear with a crushing 4-0 victory away to Bournemouth.

Jurgen Klopp’s Reds initially struggled to create at the Vitality Stadium in the absence of top scorer Mohamed Salah.

But Nunez broke the deadlock early in the second period and completed the scoring in added time following Jota’s quick-fire double.

Victory on a soggy south coast afternoon stretched Liverpool’s unbeaten run to 14 league fixtures as they fully capitalised on a weekend off for second-placed Manchester City.

In-form Bournemouth were competitive for large parts of a frenetic encounter, but rarely threatened en route to only their second defeat in nine games.

A difficult outing for Andoni Iraola’s hosts could have been worse as Justin Kluivert was perhaps fortunate to escape a red card for a first-half challenge on Luis Diaz.

Liverpool were back in top-flight action for the first time since New Year’s Day, but without talisman Salah, who has sustained a hamstring injury at the Africa Cup of Nations with Egypt, in the league for the first time this season.

The Reds were unable to find fluency in the opening stages as Bournemouth began brighter, albeit without testing Alisson.

Klopp’s men grew into the game and eventually enjoyed some meaningful territory.

Alexis Mac Allister fired wide from distance, before long-range efforts from Nunez and Diaz were comfortably collected by Cherries goalkeeper Neto.

Bournemouth, who had also not played a league fixture for three weeks, then breathed a sigh of relief in the 35th minute when Kluivert avoided punishment after catching Diaz with a high, studs-up tackle.

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