At the Vitality Stadium, the relegation-threatened Cherries defeated Jurgen Klopp’s team 1-0. The Egyptian missed the target from the penalty spot.
Events of the Game?
Perhaps it was inevitable that the hunger would arrive this week after the feast last weekend. Following their humiliation of Manchester United, Liverpool believed they had turned a corner. But, they encountered another roadblock when they were defeated 1-0 by a Bournemouth team that began the day at the bottom of the Premier League. On the south coast, Philip Billing’s goal in the first half put an end to the situation, and Mohamed Salah’s horribly off-target penalty attempt as the Reds looked to get back into the game in the second half.
Yet, in reality, Jurgen Klopp’s team earned nothing following yet another dismal away performance. After suffering their eighth league loss of the season, they forfeit the opportunity to climb into the top four of the Premier League.
Before the Game
Before the game ever started, you could have placed a wager that the player with the best attacking ability would be the one sporting the black and red stripes. But, while Salah, Darwin Nunez, and Cody Gakpo struggled, Ouattara succeeded. When given a chance to go at Liverpool’s backline, which appeared unprepared to handle the Burkina Faso international’s pace and directness, the £20 million ($24 million) January transfer from Lorient was spectacular, causing mayhem every time he was given a chance.
First-half scoring opportunities should have come from Ouattara himself, but he misjudged his shot as he rounded Alisson Becker early on. However, he quickly made up for it, timing his run to catch Adam Smith’s pass forward, tearing past a sluggish Virgil van Dijk to the byline, and then crossing for Billing to score from close range. Bournemouth needs all the motivation they can conjure in this one of the tightest relegation battles. They already had it in the form of their brand-new Wideman, a 21-year-old.
How much of a change can six days make. Previous weekend’s hero to this weekend’s zero. A week in Mo Salah’s life. To put it mildly, the Egyptian had a bad day. He was not just quiet, Lloyd Kelly, Bournemouth’s left-back, did an excellent job of containing him, but he also took part in the decisive play of the match. After a VAR assessment, Adam Smith awarded Liverpool a penalty for a handball, but their star player promptly smashed it into the River Solent. Liverpool had been waiting all season for a Premier League penalty.
When Kasper Schmeichel denied him at Leicester in December 2021, it was only Salah’s fourth missed penalty for Liverpool and his first since then. As it turned out, that cost Liverpool money when the season was over, and one wonders if this one will be just as costly.
The person who took over at the Vitality Stadium when Bournemouth’s former manager was fired from his most recent position as Club Brugge’s head coach this week achieved the biggest victory of his nascent managerial career. A lot of credit must go to O’Neil, who was able to rally his team following the agony of last week’s improbable loss at Arsenal and who saw his team escape the relegation zone as a result.
Also, they won because of it. Even though Bournemouth required some assistance from Salah and had a few chances from Van Dijk in the first half that may have changed the outcome, they played solid defence, threatened on the counterattack, and ultimately exhausted themselves. Their first win over the Premier League giants since 2016 was as well-earned as it is important.