Liverpool last played on Sunday in an incredible 7-0 win over Manchester United, but this week they’d face a slightly less glamorous trip to the South Coast – where they’d face Bournemouth, who nearly pulled off a spectacular result against Arsenal last time out. For the Cherries, this was more than just a game of football though, as they welcomed the return of David Brooks to the matchday squad.
BOU: Neto; Kely, Senesi, Stephens, Smith; Anthony, Lerma, Rothwell, Ouattara; Billing; Solanke
LIV: Alisson; Robertson, Van Dijk, Konate, Alexander-Arnold; Bajcetic, Fabinho, Elliott; Nunez, Gakpo, Salah
Liverpool started strongly, attempting a number of long balls over the top in the opening minutes – but Bournemouth’s defence was undone by a combination of Cody Gakpo and Mohamed Salah, though the Egyptian’s scuffed shot failed to challenge Neto between the sticks.
Klopp’s side could have taken the lead a minute later after Trent Alexander-Arnold’s corner was headed home by a towering Virgil Van Dijk at the far post, but a phenomenal goal-line clearance from Jefferson Lerma ensured the Cherries kept the game level for the time being.
A chance fell for the hosts soon after, as Dominic Solanke did well to intercept Alexander-Arnold’s pass and play in Ouattara – but despite the winger finding his way around Alisson, his strike could only find the side netting.
Despite a great opportunity for Liverpool that was ruled out for offside, it was Bournemouth who took the lead in the 28th minute – as Philip Billing fired home from Ouattara’s ball into the box. A quick VAR check showed that the winger was onside, meaning the goal stood and the Cherries took the lead!
Liverpool were sent out early ahead of the second half, and they started the half well – Diogo Jota’s curling shot was tipped wide of the near post by Neto early on though. Bournemouth looked to extend their lead at the other end, as Philip Billing’s corner found Senesi at the far post though his headed effort was well wide.
Jurgen Klopp’s side were awarded a penalty with just over twenty minutes left to play, after Adam Smith was found to have handled Jota’s headed ball across the face of the goal. Mohamed Salah stepped up to strike from the spot, but despite sending Neto the wrong way, the Egyptian failed to score – instead blazing his effort well wide of the post, much to the amuse of the Cherries’ home support.
Liverpool did have chances towards the end of the game, but miraculously Gary O’Neil’s side were able to hold on to a vital result that sees them move out of the relegation zone. They displayed excellent game management in the final few minutes, allowing them to return to the dressing room with smiles on their faces – unlike they had done at the Emirates last time out, when Reiss Nelson’s 97th-minute winner brought an abrupt end to their celebrations.