Liverpool lost 4-3 to Bournemouth in the latest round of Premier League games. After going 2-0 up in the first half thanks to goals from Sadio Mané and Divock Origi, Liverpool fans would have been forgiven for thinking, three points were on the cards but Eddie Howe’s team had other plans for Jürgen Klopps men at the Vitality Stadium.
In the latest round of Premier League games Liverpool travelled to play a Bournemouth side who in their own right are capable of playing good attacking football under manager Eddie Howe. Howe has never seen his Bournemouth team beat Liverpool and fans were expecting this stat to remain the same when half three rolled around last Sunday afternoon.
Bournemouth currently sit comfortably in midtable before they kicked off against Liverpool and they currently have 6 points more than at the previous stage last season.
Liverpool were forced in to making changes to the team that beat Sunderland 2-0 in last weekends Premier League fixture. Lucas Levia came in to the team at centre back to replace the injured Joël Matip.
Adam Lallana was only deemed fit enough to start from the bench which allowed Divock Origi start up front in a slightly jigged attack which saw Firmino move out wide to the position normally filled by Phillipe Coutinho.
Liverpool totally dominated the first half and were two goals to the good after only twenty two minutes after both Sadio Mané and Divock Origi found the back of the Bournemouth net.
Mané’s goal came as a result of a pin point pass from Emre Can which Bournemouth goalkeeper Arthur Boruc unable to get to collect and this mistake allowed Mané to toe poked the ball past him to an empty net.
The second goal came approx two minutes later after a fine pass down the flank which released Origi who was faced with an oncoming Boruc but Origi had the composure to slip the ball around him but in doing so narrowed his again to goal so had to shoot with more power and scored a wonderful goal.
Being two goals up at half time, and with Liverpool dominating the game in both possession and territory it all seemed to be going to plan for Jürgen Klopps side.
Mané, Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum and Can all getting through a lot of work and tackling winning balls back the second half looked like it would be more of the same as Bournemouth were not in this game also all as a threat going forward.
Liverpool started slowly in the second half and with Eddie Howe madding his first change at half time bringing on former red Jordan Ibe to replace King, it looked like Bournemouth were going to go toe to toe with Liverpool attack wise.
For all their attacking and momentum Bournemouth still weren’t able to break down Liverpool’s defence. On 54 minutes Bournemouth were forced in to making their second change of the game with Ryan Fraser coming on to replace the injured Stanislas.
This is where the whole game changed in Bournemouth’s favour. With his first touch Fraser rolled the ball past James Milner in the box and after a stupid challenge from Milner the home side were awarded a penalty. Milner’s case wasn’t helped after Dejan Lovren made a poor attempt of clearing the ball Fraser needed up with.
Wilson stepped up and scored the penalty to give the home side the belief they could get something from this game.
Against the run of play somewhat Liverpool scored their third goal when Sadio Mané dribbled his way around the right hand side of the box and pulled the ball back to the edge of the box where Emre Can unleashed an unstoppable curling shot high into the top corner to restore a two goal lead. At this point it did look like Liverpool had survived a fightback of sorts and would go on to win this game.
On 68 minutes Adam Lallana came on to replace Sadio Mané who pulled up injured.
On 71 minutes James Milner won a corner after chasing down a lost cause and from the resultant corner taken by himself Artur Boruc looked to have carried the ball back over the goal line but those claims were rejected by the referee, that’s one I’d like to see again.
On 75 minutes Bournemouth broke up a Liverpool move and got the ball forward quickly through Ryan Fraser who played it out wide to Wilson. From the right hand side out the Liverpool box Wilson cut the ball back to Fraser now free on the edge of the box who controlled it moved it out of his feet and rifled a shot wide of the diving Karius to score, Bournemouth were now certainly back in this game and were looking most likely to score again.
And that’s just what they did do 3 minutes later when after Liverpool were unable to clear their lines after a Bournemouth free kick, Jack Wilshire out jumped Origi just outside the box to win the ball he then slipped it outside to Fraser who rifled in a low cross into the box where Cook was able to take it down swivel and shoot all without any challenge and score. A strikers goal to tie it up at 3-3.
With 80 minutes now gone in this game Liverpools defence was now being bullied and Dejan Lovren in particular seemed to fall apart. Maybe he was missing the composure of his usual partner Joël Matip beside him because every high or loose ball around him now had him on edge and nervous, the Dejan Lovren that we’ve all seen on the past.
Bournemouth were applying all the pressure now for that winner and Liverpools defence had cracked wide open.
On 92 minutes Jordan Ibe played a ball back along the line to Cook who walked inside far too easily to line up a long range pot shot that Loris Karius saved in front of him as it bounced but he could only push it out to the waiting Ake who forced the ball past him to score the winner and give Bournemouth all 3 points and a thrilling win to boot.
This game was a huge loss to Liverpool not only in terms of points but also the way it happened.
Totally dominating a game again but not putting the opposition away as they should. The first half was one way traffic and even though the second half was less so the away team still led on 63 minutes but were unable to see it out. Champions see these games out.
That combined with a defence that again cracked under some applied pressure does not bode well for a sustained title challenege. Maybe knowing this is the reason Klopp is looking to bring in more finishers up top and why Virgil Van Dijk is being heavily linked with the club.
Lovren and Co totally cracked again in that second half much like the Europa League final. Bournemouth did not have chance after chance but it easy, too easy for them to win challenges late in the game and no one in Liverpool’s defence seemed able to sort it out and lead the defence.
They looked all at sea. Lucas will take some of the blame too but not being in there regularly the defence as a whole let this game get away in the most outrageous fashion I’ve seen in a while.
Memories swing back to that 3-3 draw against Crystal Palace a few seasons ago now to remind me that similar frailty remains at the heart of the Liverpool team.
Written by @StephenKing75