BOURNEMOUTH (Reuters) -Liverpool moved five points clear at the top of the Premier League with a 4-0 demolition of Bournemouth that extended their unbeaten league run to 14 games on Sunday.
The visitors were frustrated in a cagey first half of few goal-scoring chances but found a higher gear after the break with Darwin Nunez and Diogo Jota both scoring twice.
Nunez made it 1-0 in the 49th minute after a slick passing move carved up Bournemouth’s defence and the influential Jota put the game out of reach of the hosts with two clinical finishes in the 70th and 79th minutes.
Uruguayan Nunez put the seal on a dominant Liverpool display with his second goal in stoppage time.
Liverpool have 48 points from 21 games with champions Manchester City, Arsenal and Aston Villa on 43 points. City do have a game in hand of Juergen Klopp’s side.
Bournemouth are in 12th place with 25 points.
Klopp admitted he was not happy with what he witnessed in the first half but was delighted that even without absent leading scorer Mohamed Salah his side showed they have plenty of firepower.
“We were not flexible enough in the first half and it was not a good game and I told them at halftime it was not great,” Klopp told Sky Sports.
“In the second half we changed formation and were all of a sudden much more fluent. We scored the goal and then everything looked different. It’s great for Darwin and great for Diogo.”
Bournemouth’s Justin Kluivert was involved in the main first-half action, getting away with a heavy tackle on Luis Diaz and then almost creating a goal for the hosts.
Liverpool switched Nunez to a more central role after the break and it soon paid dividends. Curtis Jones laid off a long pass to Jota who then picked out Nunez with a first-time pass and the finish was never in doubt.
Jota made it 2-0 when he was picked out by Cody Gakpo and the Portuguese struck again with another cool finish after miss-kicking his initial shot after being set up by Premier League debutant Conor Bradley who got his chance in the absence of Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Joe Gomez provided the assist for Nunez’s volleyed second goal in stoppage time, meaning Nunez is the first player to 10 goals and 10 assists for a Premier League club in all competitions this season.
(Reporting by Martyn HermanEditing by Toby Davis)