LIVERPOOL, England (Reuters) - Liverpool coach Juergen Klopp insisted his side proved a point to themselves in their record-equalling 9-0 Premier League win over newly-promoted Bournemouth on Saturday, an encounter he labelled the "perfect football match."
After going into the contest winless from their opening three games at the start of the season, Liverpool kick-started their campaign in style and it was the fourth time a side has won by a nine-goal margin in Premier League history.
The thrashing was also the third time Liverpool have won by a nine-goal margin after beating Crystal Palace 9-0 in 1989 in the old first division and Rotherham Town 10-1 in 1896.
"We had to prove a point for ourselves," Klopp said. "We were not happy with the way we played so far this season.
"We had showed things which we are strong at and other things we had to improve. We just had to give the game a proper direction that is why I loved the start (against Bournemouth) so much.
"We didn't hesitate, went into the game flying and had bodies in the box, around the box, second balls and go again. In the end it was the perfect football afternoon for us and a lot of different goalscorers, wonderful goals and we all know we needed something like that."
Roberto Firmino had an especially fruitful afternoon, scoring twice with three asssists -- becoming the third Liverpool player to have a hand in five goals in one Premier League game after Mohamed Salah against Watford in March 2018 and Luis Suarez versus Norwich in December 2013.
The Brazilian may find himself once again behind big-money signing Darwin Nunez in the pecking order when Liverpool's new big-money signing returns from suspension, but Klopp remains pleased with Firmino's contribution to the team.
"He makes all the difference," Klopp said. "I know it's not the moment to talk about individual performances when you lose at Old Trafford (a 2-1 defeat on Monday) but he played really well there as well. He was everywhere.
"Today was a difficult game, he played really high up the pitch, dropping between the lines. The timing (of his performance) could not have been better."
(Reporting by Peter Hall; Editing by Ken Ferris)