Jurgen Klopp called it the “perfect afternoon of football” after Liverpool recorded their first victory of the season with a record 9-0 Premier League victory against promoted Bournemouth.
Fresh from rocketing to the title last season, the Reds struggled in the early weeks of this campaign as draws against Fulham and Crystal Palace were compounded by Monday’s crushing loss to rivals Manchester United.
Klopp’s pleas for a reaction were heard in style on Saturday, when no one inside rocking Anfield could have predicted he would see Liverpool equal their greatest ever top-flight victory.
Luis Diaz, Harvey Elliott, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Roberto Firmino and Virgil van Dijk scored in a lightning first half against a shocked Bournemouth.
Chris Mepham’s own goal set the tone for the second half, with Firmino, Fabio Carvalho and Diaz scoring as Liverpool simply failed to take it to double figures.
Asked to describe the victory in one word, Liverpool boss Klopp said in the post-match press conference: “Necessary.
“After a short pre-season with mixed results, having an absolute highlight (winning the Community Shield against Manchester City) at the start of the season, playing some really good stuff and then dropping out for some reason.
“I know how it sounds when you lose a game and then try to explain it. It’s always the same thing.
“Every manager in the world is a fantastic artist when you win football games. When you have to answer questions after losing a game and try to come up with explanations, it looks like excuses or whatever.
“That’s why the public part of my work is absolutely not important. It’s just important what the conclusion is for us. That’s why I said we had to prove a point for ourselves.
“We weren’t happy with the way we played. We had good moments in almost every game where we showed things we are strong on and other things we need to improve on.
“That’s what we had to do today, but you can’t make a list and take them all out step by step. You just have to give the game a good direction and that’s why I liked the start of today so much.
“You get that first goal and you get the second. And we continued, scored different goals but always with the same objective: to continue, to put them under pressure, not to stop.
“Then it’s 5-0 for half time and I couldn’t respect more what Scott (Parker) is doing at Bournemouth in not the easiest circumstances, how I can see from the outside.
“At half-time it was important that we continue, again, because it’s the start of the season. It’s not up to us now to control him a bit and let him score a goal and have that kind of bitter taste after a wonderful afternoon.
“You come out of the blocks again with 6-0 and then everyone scored, we could bring in the kids, who so deserve it, so we can shoot if we want at the start of the busiest period I’ve ever had. have ever known.
“I can already tell before we have played it will be crazy and in the end it was the perfect afternoon of football for us.
“A lot of different scorers, all that sort of thing. Wonderful goals, fantastic situations and we all know we needed something like that.
“We had bigger chances in other games and we didn’t use them. It’s the nature of the thing.
Bournemouth manager Parker had warned of a potential reaction from Liverpool in the build-up and was rocked by a result which underscored the need for fresh faces ahead of Thursday’s deadline.
“It’s the most difficult day as a player and certainly as a coach,” Parker said. “It’s the hardest and most painful day I’ve had, that’s for sure.
“It goes without saying that it was truly humbling and quite shocking, really, in terms of the outcome.
“And probably not that surprised, to be honest with you, in the sense of the levels we’re playing against here and the quality is just way above what we have at our disposal right now.
“Of course it’s not me looking for an excuse because there are goals in this game that were our own in terms of set pieces were really poor and we can do something about that.
“But right now I’m sorry for the fans, I’m sorry for the players, to be honest with you, because at the moment we’re just a bit under-equipped at this level where we come from.”