Bournemouth 0, Liverpool 2: First Thoughts

Julian Finney

Despite a largely unconvincing performance against a willing opposition, two moments of quality saw Liverpool through to the next round of the FA Cup.

liverpool blog fc sbn

Bournemouth 0
Liverpool 2 Moses 26', Sturridge 59'

  • Credit to Bournemouth, they came out firing and were utterly unafraid of their opposition. They pressed forward aggressively, and were able to cause a few moments of danger while Liverpool were still settling in to things. When Liverpool had the ball, they were able to quickly get back in defense and form two very compact banks of four in front of goal that Liverpool had a very, very hard time breaking down. As the half wore on, Bournemouth relied more on the counter rather than creating their own attacks, but were still very effective with their game plan.

  • The Gerrard-as-DM experiment continued today, as he very clearly sat deeper than Jordan Henderson in midfield. It worked about as well as it previously had this season, which is to say not well, with runners allowed to get to the defense with ease and 50-yard passes to no-one as all too common sights once again today. He would have a couple decent defensive showings in the second half, making charging tackles deep in the box, but if his defensive positioning and actions had been better in the first place, those runners would never have been in those positions.

  • Liverpool's opener came from so suddenly and with so little buildup that the reaction to it was much more shock that it had actually happened than any kind of real celebration. Victor Moses was dribbling at the edge of the box when he picked his head up for a second and saw that the keeper was cheating towards the far post, clearly expecting a cross to Luis Suarez or Daniel Sturridge. Moses decided in that second to take the glory for himself, cut in, and ripped a shot off with his right foot, and hey look it's 1-0.

  • While Liverpool was edging possession in the first half, it felt like Bournemouth was able to threaten on every possession, while most Liverpool possessions seemed to end with a giveaway just before the final third. The hosts also earned corner after corner, leading to a number of nervy moments in front of goal for Liverpool.

  • The near side linesman, who was calling Liverpool's attacks in the first half, did not have a good time of things today. He blew several fairly clear calls that prevented Liverpool from getting chances on goal, including a clear-as-day call on Suarez that would have seen him latch on to a gorgeous ball from Gerrard over the top and be one-on-one with the keeper. Gerrard actually got booked for yelling at him in the second half after he let a questionable Bournemouth run that may have been offsides go uncalled.

  • I love you, Coutinho, but oh my god did he have a terrible match. He's so out of form it hurts.

  • Suarez and Sturrrrridge, together again.... my, but that second goal was a lovely combination.

  • Can we talk about the substitutions? With a massively, hugely important Merseyside Derby match in just three days, Brendan Rodgers went with a strong lineup. Understandable, given how many of his first teamers are stuck in the training room. But with the match in hand at 2-0 just before the hour mark, the opportunity was there to bring off players like Suarez, Sturridge, Gerrard, Skrtel, Coutinho, or Henderson fairly early, guys who all need to be at full fitness on Tuesday. Instead, Martin Kelly got subbed off at 73 minutes, and then Coutinho and Moses got pulled off at 83 minutes. So instead of Aspas, Alberto, and one of the kids on the bench getting a nice chunk of playing time, tired legs got more tired and Alberto got ten minutes of aimlessly running about because the match was already over. So. Yay.

liverpool blog fc sbn

We'll be back shortly to take an in-depth look at everything that happened in today's game with the full recap. Until then, let us know your take on the ups and downs of the match in the comments, and if you haven't already, join the community on the Liverpool Offside, where we'll have full coverage and lively in-game discussion for every match this season.

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