Mohamed Salah scored his first hat-trick of the season for Liverpool who defeated Bournemouth 4-0 to move up to the top of the English Premier League, even if temporarily, pending conclusion of the other matchday 16 games, reports Completesportsnigeria.com.
Salah scored the opener in the 25th minute of the encounter and bagged his double three minutes into the second half to become the fastest Liverpool player to reach 40 EPL goals for the club in 52 games.
Andy Robertson’s shot was deflected in by Steve Cook into his own net to make it 3-0 for Liverpool in the 68th minute. The own goal was Cook’s third in the Premier League, this season more than any of his Bournemouth team-mates.
Salah wrapped a victory for the Reds after he latched on to Adam Lallana’s flick over the top of the Bournemouth defence and beat Cook for pace and rounded off Begovic before hammering his effort past Ake and Cook on the line.
Salah becomes the first Liverpool player to score a hat-trick away from home since Luiz Suarez achieved the feat against Cardiff in March 2014.
The Egypt international is now level with Pierre Emerick Aubameyang on the top scorers chart with ten goals in the English Premier League and 12 in all competitions.
The Reds, unbeaten so far in the EPL, have now picked up a club-record 42 points from their opening 16 games.
Jurgen Klopp’s men controlled possession for the majority of the first half but could only manage three shot on target before the break until Salah scored a brace.
Bournemouth reacted well going behind and almost halved the deficit just four minutes later when Joshua King beat Alisson to a low cross from the left but failed to hit the target.
Liverpool’s two-goal cushion saw them take complete control of the contest, though, and they added a third with just over 20 minutes remaining when Cook spectacularly backheeled the ball into his own net from Robertson’s testing cross.
Bournemouth went in search of a consolation when Junior Stanislas curled a 30-yard free kick towards the top corner, only for Alisson to make the save look easy. Salah wrapped up the win for the Reds who now leapfrog Manchester City at the top of the table, at least until the champions face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge later this evening.
By Johnny Edward