He’s not bad, that Mohamed Salah. Whether it’s running down the wing, as the song goes, or simply doing laps of Asmir Begovic for his hat-trick, he really is half decent.
That it was ever in doubt feels a little silly now. Everyone did it, and that was actually reasonably fair for once – his standard at the start of the campaign was just not quite what it was.
And yet here we are in December and he is looking like very much like the star on the tree and has been for a couple of months now. It’s nine in his past 10 starts since October 20, if you count all the competitions. And 12 for the season, 10 in the league, if you broaden it out.
MATCH FACTS AND STATS
Bournemouth (4-4-1-1): Begovic 5; Francis 6, Cook 4, Ake 5.5, Daniels 6 (Rico 83); Stanislas 6 (Mings 83), Lerma 6, Surman 6, Fraser 6; Brooks 6 (Mousset 64, 6); King 5.5
Subs not used: Boruc, Pugh, Ibe, Defoe
Booked: Ake, Lerma
Manger: Eddie Howe 5.5
Liverpool (4-3-3): Alisson 6.5; Milner 7, Matip 5.5, Van Dijk 7, Robertson 6; Fabinho 6.5, Wijnaldum 7, Keita 6.5 (Lallana 64, 6); Shaqiri 7 (Mane 64, 6), Salah 8.5, Firmino 7 (Henderson 81)
Subs not used: Sturridge, Mignolet, Origi, Alexander-Arnold
Goalscorers: Salah 25, 48, 77, Cook own goal 68
Manager: Jurgen Klopp 7
Referee: Lee Mason 6
Man of the match: Mohammed Salah
Bournemouth had a pair of changes in retaliation but were killed off when Cook backheeled a volley past Begovic off an Andrew Robertson delivery.
The centre-half’s miserable afternoon cranked up when a loose ball off his challenge put Salah through for his hat-trick goal. Salah subsequently ran around Begovic twice before flicking past Ake on the line.
A master at work, really.