LONDON: A superb hat-trick from Mohamed Salah saw Liverpool equal their club-record run of 17 unbeaten Premier League matches with a 4-0 win at Bournemouth.
Liverpool’s supporters hailed their “Egyptian king” for taking his personal tally to 10 league goals as Jurgen Klopp’s men matched that record run of the class of 2008.
Salah’s second goal proved a study in perseverance over play-acting, the 26-year-old refusing to go down under a naughty challenge from Steve Cook – before drilling home in style.
The beaten Cook stepped his studs on Salah’s Achilles in a clear act of desperation, but not even that foul could deny the Liverpool hitman.
Cook’s day turned from bad to worse when he turned Andrew Robertson’s low cross into his own net, before being bamboozled by Salah as the rampant forward completed his treble.
Salah’s opener was his 40th goal in his 52nd Premier League appearance for Liverpool, the fastest a player has hit that milestone in the competition for the Reds (Torres 60, Sturridge 64). Since the start of last season, only Lionel Messi (43) has scored more league goals in the big five European leagues than Salah (42).
The Egyptian is the only the second Liverpool player to score a competitive hat-trick against Bournemouth after Harry Chambers in the FA Cup in January 1927.
At the other end of the pitch goalkeeper Alisson has remained unbeaten in his opening 16 league matches as a Liverpool player, a club record, moving ahead of Javier Mascherano (15, set in November 2007).
Liverpool’s Premier League run without defeat includes the 4-0 home win over Brighton that concluded last season.
Klopp’s 2018 Reds could now set an outright Premier League club-record run should they avoid defeat against bitter rivals Manchester United at Anfield on December 16.
James Milner toasted his 500th Premier League appearance in helping Liverpool secure their seventh away win of the campaign.
Liverpool have accrued 42 points from their opening 16 league games of the season, their best-ever tally at this stage of a top-flight campaign after a win in which James Milner made his 500th Premier League appearance, the 13th player to reach this landmark and the second youngest to do so (32y 338d), behind only Gareth Barry (32y 219d).