AFC Bournemouth 1 - 0 Liverpool
Bournemouth: Billing 28’
There’s pressure on Liverpool to perform after their dismantling of rivals Manchester United last weekend. Three points would, however temporarily, put them back into the top four after a long, depressing season outside of it. For this match, Jürgen Klopp has chosen Cody Gakpo in the middle with Mohamed Salah and Darwin Núñez on either side, the same forward line who destroyed United. Stefan Bajcetic replaces Jordan Henderson in the middle, likely with an eye towards the midweek match against Real Madrid. The expected back line is in defense.
The game started out with a big push from Liverpool, who had the bulk of the possession, as expected. Unfortunately, the first big chance came for Bournemouth after a mistake by Trent Alexander-Arnold. Ouattara got clear and even made it around Alisson, but his attempt on goal thankfully hit the side netting.
Gakpo scored at 10 minutes, but the player is clearly offside and knew it.
A flurry of Liverpool corners on the other end come to nothing, but Liverpool looked motivated to open the scoring, even if it hasn’t happened yet.
So no surprise then that it’s Bournemouth who score first. I can’t imagine there were any Liverpool fans who bet against that inevitable outcome. Ouattara’s cross finds Billing, who gets his shot past Alisson with concerning ease.
Virgil van Dijk misses a good chance to equalize. His unmarked header goes wide and the opportunity goes wanting.
The Reds avoid even more trouble when they both van Dijk and Konaté were deemed to have made clean tackles in the box against Solanke and Billing. The Cherries were outraged that there was no penalty given.
Klopp went full attack in the second half, bringing off Elliott in exchange for Diogo Jota at the half. The boss isn’t playing around. Additionally, Roberto Firmino and Jordan Henderson were warming up on the sidelines as well.
Jota forced the keeper into a save early, which was a nice introduction into the game for the Portuguese player.
A triple sub from Klopp here. James Milner, Henderson and Firmino on for Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho and Núñez. None have impressed so this afternoon.
Liverpool received a penalty for a handball after a VAR check, but Salah slams that chance from the spot way wide, denying his team a goal.
This game has been horrid. Do you think the Liverpool players maybe feel like the Champions League is too much effort, so why even be in it next season?
Konaté picked up a yellow card for a foul on Solanke.
Klopp’s final substitution is Fabio Carvalho in for Bajcetic.
Five minutes of added time feels like a cruel joke for this game.
My final thought is that I’m going back to sleep now.