Liverpool lose to Bournemouth just a week after beating Manchester United 7-0
Top four hopefuls Liverpool suffered a major dent in their plans to make the UEFA Champions League next season after a shock defeat to Bournemouth who started the day bottom of the Premier League table
A goal just before the half-hour mark from Phillip Billing was enough to give Bournemouth all three points, as Liverpool's all-time top-scorer in Premier League history, Mohamed Salah fired Liverpool's best chance of the game wide from the penalty spot
The win saw Bournemouth climb out of the relegation zone, leapfrogging Southampton, Leeds, and West Ham to reach 17th on the table, one point ahead of the Hammers in 18th, and just three points behind 12th-placed Crystal Palace.
How it happened
Liverpool came into the fixture on the back of a phenomenal 7-0 thrashing of rivals Manchester United just a week ago that firmly stated their intention to fight for a top-four spot, while Bournemouth were bottom of the Premier League table after blowing a two-goal lead against Arsenal and losing 2-0 at the Emirates last week.
Liverpool expectedly started on the front foot, with Salah misplacing an early effort, Cody Gakpo seeing his goal ruled out for offside, and Virgil Van Dijk watching his effort get cleared off the line.
It looked like Liverpool could be in for another big win with the chances they created early on, but that sentiment and the match itself were changed by Bournemouth taking the lead against the run of play after 28 minutes.
Bournemouth’s Burkinabe winger Dango Ouattara got the better of Liverpool’s defence with a pacey run before playing the ball across the penalty area for Billing to score an easy tap-in.
Billing’s second goal in as many games this week for Bournemouth made it 1-0 for the Cherries yet again, but unlike against Arsenal, they would not throw the lead away this time.
Bournemouth went close to extending their lead just before halftime as former Liverpool youngster Dominic Solanke fired over the bar from inside the penalty area.
The second half was all Liverpool as the Reds dominated possession, seeing 73% of the ball in the second period.
Despite their superiority on the ball, Liverpool found it difficult to create clear goalscoring opportunities and besides Jota testing Bournemouth goalkeeper Neto with an effort early in the second half, did not have any other shot on target.
The closest they came to an equaliser came when Jota’s header was handled in the box by Bournemouth’s Adam Smith and referee John Brooks pointed to the spot.
Salah stepped up for Liverpool, taking his and Liverpool’s first penalty in the Premier League this season, but he somehow managed to put his effort high and wide of the goal, ensuring that Liverpool remained behind.
After Salah’s miss on the stroke of 69 minutes, Liverpool could only muster two more shots, both by Gakpo and both harmlessly off-target, as the game ended 1-0 in favour of the hosts.
Liverpool top four race in jeopardy, Bournemouth handed relegation boost
The 1-0 loss meant that Liverpool lost valuable ground in their race against time and Tottenham to make it into the top four, as the gap could potentially widen to five points by the end of the game week.
Bournemouth, on the other hand, earned a major boost, which lifts them out of the relegation zone for the time being, while giving them a fighting chance of staying in the Premier League.
Man of the Match
Neto may not have had too much to do in the second half, but his first half heroics kept Bournemouth in the game as he made five saves in the opening 45 minutes to ensure a clean sheet for the Cherries
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