Liverpool equalled the biggest win in Premier League history as Roberto Firmino and Luis Diaz both grabbed braces in a 9-0 annihilation of promoted Bournemouth.
Jurgen Klopp’s men were just pipped to last season’s title and began the new campaign slowly, with surprise draws against Fulham and Crystal Palace compounded by Monday’s loss at rivals Manchester United.
Scott Parker warned of a backlash and his Bournemouth side could do nothing to prevent an Anfield humiliation, with Liverpool recording their first Premier League win of the season in record-equalling fashion.
The Cherries join Southampton and Ipswich in suffering a 9-0 defeat in the competition.
Firmino, starting in place of suspended summer signing Darwin Nunez, produced a stunning first-half display, which began with Diaz heading home his clipped cross within three minutes of kick-off.
Firmino then provided the assist for Harvey Elliott’s first Premier League goal – a fizzing strike from distance that would have been goal of the day was it not for the Trent Alexander-Arnold stunner that followed.
The Brazil forward set up that goal and celebrated one of his own soon after when turning in a deflected cross – his first league goal at Anfield since December 2020.
Vigil van Dijk powered home Liverpool’s fifth on the stroke of half-time, with Chris Mepham’s own goal providing a gut punch for the Cherries at the start of the second half.
Firmino grabbed a second of the afternoon before leaving to a standing ovation.
The goals did not stop there, though, as Fabio Carvalho scored his first for the club and Diaz grabbed his second, but calls for a 10th went unanswered.
It was a remarkable afternoon at a rocking Anfield, where Liverpool scored within 150 seconds of kick-off.
Firmino showed intelligence and composure when collecting a loose ball to jink away from danger and clip a cross from the right to Diaz, who impressively headed beyond Mark Travers.
The goal was rubberstamped after a VAR check and Liverpool doubled their advantage in the sixth minute.
Mohamed Salah cut in from the right and Firmino’s touch inside was met by an Elliott snapshot from the edge of the box that flew in.
Diaz saw a goal ruled out for offside and Salah somehow failed to turn home at the far post from Elliott’s cross-shot as Liverpool continued in the ascendancy.
Salah got a shot away and Alexander-Arnold collected a return pass from Firmino, continuing to unleash a thumping 25-yard strike that whizzed into the top left-hand corner.
Firmino would have a goal of his own three minutes later.
Salah’s attempted pass on right flank ricocheted cruelly off Bournemouth’s Marcus Tavernier and flew towards the six-yard box, where Firmino reacted to stretch and direct home.
The visitors were hit by a fifth on the stroke of half-time. Travers pushed a long-range Firmino shot behind for a corner, which Andy Robertson sent in for Van Dijk to power home.
The Anfield onslaught continued after the break as Bournemouth conceded their sixth within a minute of the second half getting under way.
Alexander-Arnold’s cross was directed into his own goal by Chris Mepham under pressure from Liverpool’s Diaz. The goal was given after a lengthy VAR check for offside.
Firmino struck across the face of goal as Liverpool threatened to score again. In the end, they had to wait until the 62nd minute.
Robertson swung over a dangerous cross that goalkeeper Travers parried into the path of Firmino, who turned home a scrappy seventh in front of the Kop.
The 30-year-old received a hug from Klopp as the Liverpool boss made changes, but Salah stayed on in search of a goal that he somehow failed to find from close range in the 75th minute.
Just as the sting appeared to have been taken out of the match, Liverpool celebrated an eighth as Kostas Tsimikas found fellow substitute Carvalho to coolly volley home.
Bobby Clark came on for his debut shortly before Diaz headed home Tsimikas’ corner to bring up nine.
Travers prevented James Milner from making it double figures as Bournemouth avoided further humiliation.