Premier League • England

Liverpool told 9-0 win doesn’t hide ’cause for concern’, as star told he got key incident all wrong

James Milner of Liverpool, August 2022

Liverpool may still be able to blow teams away like they did Bournemouth, but they are just not the same team as three years ago, claims one pundit.

The Reds smashed the Cherries for their record Premier League win to become one of four clubs to score nine in a game. Luis Diaz and Roberto Firmino netted twice, while young midfielders Harvey Elliott and Fabio Carvalho added strikes.

The result moved Liverpool up to ninth in the table following a difficult start to the season. Two draws and a defeat – the loss coming to Manchester United – had ramped up the pressure on Jurgen Klopp.

But his side got all those gremlins out of their system by refusing to let up against Scott Parker’s team.

According to Garth Crooks, though, Liverpool just do not look the same team as the one which – at this point three years ago – were embarking on a 99-point Premier League title romp.

“Nine goals in one afternoon against any team is enough to make their players think seriously about whether they are good enough for that league,” Crooks wrote in his BBC Sport column.

“Granted, Bournemouth were playing Liverpool, who had won the Premier League title and the Champions League in recent years but that won’t ease their pain.

“Of the nine goals scored against the Cherries, the one rifled in from 25 yards by Trent Alexander-Arnold was far and away the best.

“Liverpool looked a happy team again after this victory but they are not the team they were in 2020 and they know it. That must be a cause for concern.”

Liverpool man criticised over Man Utd incident

The 9-0 win was a fierce response to the 2-1 defeat to Man Utd. Liverpool midfielder James Milner did not hold back in giving Virgil van Dijk some harsh home truths about his performance at Old Trafford.

But Crooks insisted that there were “better ways” for Milner to show his honesty amid a poor Reds performance.

He added: “When such frustration boils over, out of the dressing room and on to the pitch, it’s a sure sign that all is not well – but it can also be the hallmark of a great team trying to heal themselves.

“Exactly where Liverpool are at the moment is difficult to tell – but we certainly will know by the end of the season.”

Crooks then lauded Diaz for his brace against Bournemouth, claiming that “for the first time” the Colombian looked like he can truly replace Sadio Mane.

The Magpies have enjoyed a strong start to the season under Eddie Howe and are in fact still unbeaten.

With a second win in a row, Liverpool could start to think about building serious momentum.