I thought a match recap as preparation for Sunday might be in order, given the fact that we go to Dean Court again, making it just over a year since Bournemouth beat Liverpool for the very first time in a match that marked our second loss of last season’s campaign. This match was also our 10th meeting with the Cherries.
Bournemouth are currently in their third season of the Premier League and finished in ninth place last season.
Last season’s Match Review
Sunday, December 4th, 2016: Premier League Matchweek 14
Final Score: Bournemouth AFC 4 – 3 Liverpool
Possession: Bournemouth 39% - 61% Liverpool
Callum Wilson 56’ (pen), Ryan Fraser 76’ (assist Benick Afobe), Steve Cook 78’ (assist: Ryan Fraser), Nathan Aké 90’ + 3’
Sadio Mané 20’ (assist: Emre Can), Divock Origi 22’ (assist: Jordan Henderson), Emre Can 64’ (assist: Sadio Mané)
Liverpool line-up 4-3-3: Karius, Clyne, Lucas, Lovren, Milner, Wijnaldum, Henderson (captain), Can, Mané, Origi, Firmino
Subsitutes used: Lallana brought on for Mané
By the 22nd minute, Mané and Origi had gotten onto the score sheet, both scoring stunning and precise goals beautifully assisted by Can and Henderson respectively. By this point the Cherries had only had 39% of the position and had yet to threaten their own goalposts. By the end of the first half, Bournemouth had completed 206 passes and Liverpool had completed 316 with top class pressing, they had successfully suffocated the home side who had barely had the ball for longer than three passes.
HALF TIME SCORE: Bournemouth 0 – 2 Liverpool
The second half began with former Liverpool player Jordan Ibe coming on as a substitute for Joshua King and Junior Stanislas required help walking off the pitch after colliding with Henderson (he received a yellow for this) and was replaced by young upstart and the Man of the Match in this game, Ryan Fraser – a player who had cost a mere GBP400 000 and came from Aberdeen FC and made his presence felt instantly by colliding with James Milner and winning a penalty which Callum Wilson successfully converted.
A perfect right footed shot from Can gave us our third goal which was beautifully assisted by Mané. Having just shown some excellent footwork leading up to his pass to Can, the tide turned for Liverpool as Mané sat down on the touchline with what appeared to be an ankle injury and was substituted by Adam Lallana at 68’.
Bournemouth’s Benik Afobe arrived on the pitch at 75’ as a substitute for Dan Gosling and immediately made his presence felt by assisting young Fraser’s right footed goal strike at 76’. Ryan Fraser then went on to win a free kick for his side in the 78th minute and assisted the Cherries third goal of the afternoon which was well placed by Steve Cook at 79’. And thus at 80’ minutes, we were likely all completely flabbergasted as the score suddenly stood at 3 – 3, evidently having lost complete focus since Mané’s departure from the pitch. Meanwhile both Cooke and Aké had their goal attempts saved at 90 + 1’ yet Aké was clearly not done yet and moments later scored the winning goal for the Cherries – a shot which had managed to slip past Karius and saw us end the week in third place with 30 points in total – just 1 behind the Arsenal.
The Cherries were deserving winners with their never say die attitude and fought all the way to the end whereas we had somehow ceased our pressing style of play after Mané’s substitution. This match once again proved that anything can and truly does happen in the Premier League.
Bournemouth went on to prove that their win against us was not a fluke when they went on to draw against us in the return fixture at Anfield on 5 April 2017 with the match ending in Liverpool 2 – 2 Bournemouth.
Here’s hoping we end our draw spell and snag three points this weekend. Up the Reds!