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'Van Dijk can wear his kit again on Tuesday it's that clean' - Salah-inspired Liverpool impress in second gear

20:25 GMT+3 08/12/2018
Mohamed Salah Virgil van Dijk Liverpool 2018
The former Reds midfielder believes a comfortable win over Bournemouth has Jurgen Klopp's side perfectly placed for a crunch Champions League clash

Liverpool “never got out of second gear” against Bournemouth, says Jamie Redknapp, with Virgil van Dijk marshalling the defence and hat-trick hero Mohamed Salah starring in the final third.

The Reds headed to the south coast aware that they had little margin for error in an ongoing Premier League title chase with Manchester City that has both sides unbeaten.

Jurgen Klopp had his big-hitters back in the starting XI, having rotated in a midweek win at Burnley, and saw Salah steal the headlines with a stunning display of clinical finishing.

Liverpool eased over the line in the end, setting them up perfectly for a crucial Champions League clash with Napoli which will require another winning performance to see them into the last 16.

“They're purring right now, and if they can get through on Tuesday, keep going in the Premier League, they can hang onto Man City's coat-tails,” Redknapp told Sky Sports.

“Virgil van Dijk can wear his kit on Tuesday night, it was that clean. Liverpool never got out of second gear, it was so comfortable in possession. When you've got a player like Salah, he can take a game away from any team.”

Salah now has 10 Premier League goals for the season, allowing him to move back to the front of a race which sees him seeking to defend a Golden Boot secured in 2017-18.

He was deployed alongside Roberto Firmino as part of a front two against Bournemouth, with Xherdan Shaqiri operating in a deep-lying attacking post.

The Egyptian forward impressed again when asked to pose problems down the middle, with Redknapp of the opinion that he is at his best when used in that role.

The former Reds midfielder added: “There's been questions over where his best position is. Do you play him down the middle or do you play him our wide?

“I think today you saw the real benefits of playing him in a central position.

“The problems he causes defenders, running on the shoulder, the third goal epitomised that.

“I thought Liverpool were very comfortable and it shows the strength of the squad they have.”

While Salah helped himself to another matchball against Bournemouth, Liverpool’s other goal came courtesy of Cherries defender Steve Cook who somehow managed to flick an Andy Robertson cross into his own net.