This was the perfect way to get the party started.

Liverpool warmed up for their Christmas celebration by providing Kopites with a thrilling dose of festive cheer.

The frustration of back-to-back stalemates was banished as Jurgen Klopp's side delivered an attacking masterclass on the South Coast.

A thumping victory not only lifted the Reds back into the top four but it also provided a welcome injection of belief at a crucial stage of the campaign. Momentum has been regained.

As the players, staff and their families gathered for the annual festivities after the short flight home on Sunday night, Klopp could raise a glass to a job well done.

The manager insisted Liverpool hadn't “gone back to the dark days” after carelessly dropping points against Everton and West Brom, and he was proved right.

This was a sparkling response. Bournemouth tried to go toe to toe with the Reds and were ripped apart by the brilliance of Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah.

It was an historic day for Salah, who grabbed his 20th goal for the club in just 26 appearances.

George Allan (19 matches) is the only player in the club's 125-year history to reach that milestone quicker and that was back in the 19 century.

What Salah has achieved over the past four months has been incredible. Most new signings need time to adjust to the demands of life at Liverpool but the £36.9million man has embraced it.

His contribution has been such that his price tag in a crazy market now resembles small change. Forget African Footballer of the Year, if he maintains these sky-high standards then he will be a serious contender for the Ballon d'Or.

On this occasion even Salah's display was overshadowed by the sheer quality of the Brazilian double act alongside him.

Coutinho opened the scoring with a majestic individual effort before the outstanding Firmino took centre stage.

The former Hoffenheim man set the tone with his relentless pressing and intelligent movement. Firmino created the second for Dejan Lovren and nodded home the fourth after Salah had put the outcome beyond doubt.

That brought up a half century of goals for Klopp's Fab Four this season. With 13 to his name, Firmino is enjoying the most productive campaign of his Anfield career, while Coutinho is already into double figures too.

On a day when Sadio Mane was rested, Klopp was able to take off Coutinho, Salah and Firmino with one eye on next Friday's mouthwatering trip to the Emirates.

Aside from that trio there was plenty else to admire about this dominant performance.

Captain Jordan Henderson shone on his return to the side and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain flourished in an advanced central midfield role.

The £35million signing endured a slow start following his summer move but he now looks like he belongs at Liverpool. The same goes for left-back Andy Robertson, who has grasped his opportunity following Alberto Moreno's ankle injury.

Lethargic and sloppy against West Brom in midweek, Liverpool were transformed at the Vitality Stadium.

They were bang on it from the start. Bournemouth simply couldn't handle the pace and the precision of the Reds' attacking play as they were repeatedly torn apart.

There was a fluency and an urgency which was sadly lacking against the Baggies as Liverpool moved the ball so much quicker.

The Cherries had only conceded seven goals in their previous eight matches but they hadn't come up against this kind of sustained onslaught.

The hosts were fortunate to remain on level terms for 20 minutes. Coutinho's curling free-kick left Asmir Begovic beaten but cannoned against the post.

Salah against Charlie Daniels was a mismatch and the Egyptian winger fired narrowly over after darting away from the over-worked defender.

Finally, the pressure told as Coutinho broke the deadlock in breathtaking fashion.

The little magician played a one-two with Robertson close to halfway and embarked on a mazy run which bewitched the Cherries.

Simon Francis, Adam Smith and Lewis Cook all tried and failed to lay a glove on Coutinho, who jinxed his way into the penalty box and coolly slotted past Begovic.

Six minutes later it was 2-0. Coutinho's corner was helped on by Gini Wijnaldum and Firmino did brilliantly at the back post to turn it back across goal.

Lovren stooped to nod home his first Premier League goal for 14 months. It was a moment to cherish for the much maligned Croatian centre-back, a week after being cast as the fall guy in the Merseyside derby.

Lovren also shone in his own penalty box with two key defensive headers in quick succession as Eddie Howe's side briefly rallied.

Liverpool's midfield operated so much better as a unit. Henderson not only provided a sizeable injection of energy but also a steady supply of decent service to the front three.

Klopp recently described Henderson as having “the hardest job in world football”. That might be pushing it but the point about the immense challenge of following in the footsteps of Steven Gerrard stands.

He can't be Gerrard, he doesn't have that kind of awe-inspiring ability to boss a game. Few have.

There have been times this season when Henderson has been unfairly castigated. There have also been times when his performance levels haven't been up to scratch.

When Liverpool recently thrashed Spartak Moscow without their skipper, it was held up as proof by his critics that the skipper was no longer required.

But Klopp's faith in him is unwavering and Henderson repaid him handsomely against the Cherries. He has benefited from the manager's rotation policy as he looked strong throughout a tireless shift.

Jermain Defoe struck the post but Liverpool endured few other scares and they added a third just before the interval.

Salah should have netted after a cute one-two with Coutinho but volleyed straight at Begovic.

However, the winger quickly made amends. Oxlade-Chamberlain picked him out down the right and Salah cut inside past Daniels and Nathan Ake before finishing in style.

Eddie Howe brought on Ryan Fraser for the second half – evoking memories of last December's fixture between the clubs when the Scot inspired Bournemouth's fightback from 3-1 down to win 4-3.

But a repeat never looked on the cards. Liverpool were composed and disciplined, keeping their shape and not giving the Cherries a sniff.

Klopp's side really are lethal on the counter. Oxlade-Chamberlain was denied by the woodwork after sliding in to dispossess former Reds winger Jordon Ibe.

Firmino finally got the goal his all-round contribution deserved when he headed Coutinho's cross past Begovic.

There was the welcome sight of Adam Lallana making his comeback as Liverpool cruised to the end. Substitutes Danny Ings and Dominic Solanke should have added to the Reds' account but it mattered little.

It's the first time since 1982 that Liverpool have scored three or more times in five successive matches on their travels.

After the final whistle Klopp and his players celebrated en masse in front of the away end. They went bearing gifts as shirts were thrown in. The party was underway.

Source: Liverpool Echo

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