Liverpool came out victorious after an impressive second half display saw them overrun host Bournemouth 4-0.
Darwin Nunez stroked home the opener on 49 minutes before Jota took centre-stage, scoring two brilliant goals to ensure victory. Nunez grabbed his brace in injury time to add further gloss to the scoreline.
The visitors were without the creative forces of Mo Salah (international duty) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (injury) and it initially showed in a turgid first 45 of few openings.
However, the Merseysiders played with far more urgency following the interval and took the lead on 49 minutes when Nunez rolled home Jota’s perfect pass.
The away side continued to dominate and doubled their advantage 20 minutes from time when Jota fired a ruthless finish in off the post from substitute Cody Gakpo’s pass.
The Portugal star then added his second of the evening and his 11th of the campaign with a low strike at the second time of asking.
Nunez then added salt in the home side’s wounds with his second of the encounter deep into stoppage time.
The result means Liverpool extend their lead over second-placed Manchester City to five points, but have now played a game more than Pep Guardiola’s champions.
Bournemouth stay 12th and are nine points clear of the drop zone.
Next up, Liverpool travel to Fulham for the second leg of their League Cup semi final on Wednesday night.
Bournemouth are in action in the FA Cup fourth round on Thursday evening when they entertain Championship side, Swansea City.
Mo Salah’s involvement at AFCON is often seen as an issue that could derail Liverpool’s season, but it should also be remembered that it also offers an opportunity for the club’s other forwards to assume the spotlight.
Fortunately for Jurgen Klopp and Co that looks like being the case with Jota and Nunez enjoying a particularly strong January, while Gakpo and Luis Diaz have also had their moments.
The Reds have a lengthy injury lost at present but continue to fire on all fronts with the hope that Salah’s hamstring issue sustained with Egypt isn’t too serious and he can return to the fold to once again lead the charge in the second part of the season.