Mohamed Salah scored a hat-trick against Bournemouth to send Liverpool to the top of the table – then handed his man-of-the-match award to team-mate James Milner.

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Former England midfielder Milner became the 13th player to make 500 Premier League appearances when he captained Liverpool against the Cherries.

When handed his award after the game, Salah opted to give it to Milner and told Sky Sports: “I will not take it.

“Congratulations on his amazing career. He deserved it today. I hope we’ll win something together.”

Salah scored his second hat-trick for the club since arriving from Roma 18 months ago as Jurgen Klopp’s side kept up the pressure on Manchester City.

Salah was in an offside position when Roberto Firmino hit a 30-yard shot that home keeper Asmir Begovic carelessly pushed out in the direction of the Egypt forward.

He finished clinically and his eighth top-flight goal of the season was allowed to stand to break the deadlock in a game the visitors dominated from the start.

There was nothing fortuitous about the Liverpool forward’s second though, a composed finish after driving at the Bournemouth defence, while Steve Cook back-heeled the ball into his own net while attempting a clearance to make it 3-0.

Salah then completed his hat-trick after rounding Begovic, cutting back to beat the Bournemouth keeper for a second time and poking the ball past Nathan Ake on the line.

“Whatever you do in a football game, you need somebody to finish it off and what Mo did with his two goals in the second half was exceptional,” said Klopp after his side’s fifth straight league win.

Having taken 45 points from the last 51 on offer, Liverpool are now unbeaten in 17 league games in a run stretching back to last season.

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