In a game which has seen many goals in the last 4 meetings, we see goals again but all one way, as Liverpool emerged 3-0 victors at Anfield against Bournemouth.
Liverpool were straight out of the traps with Salah having two very early chances, chances that he’s taken all season, but he put them both wide of the post.
It was Mane who popped up with the goods early enough on the sixth minute, a corner swung in by Salah which was dealt with but only as far as Henderson, who whipped in a lovely deep cross which Mane met with his head, nicely saved by Begovic but it came straight back to him which he buried without question.Embed from Getty Images
Liverpool continued to ask all sorts of questions, a few long range efforts from Salah and inch perfect through balls from Henderson and Oxlade-Chamberlain but Bournemouth managed to stick in the game for the remainder of the first half. Liverpool had the ball very high up the pitch for 35 or so minutes of the first half, Ake and Francis dealt with lots of crosses but dealt with them they did and they went into the break only a goal down. They would have taken this prematch I’m sure.
More of the same came in the second half with Liverpool dominating possession but no real clear cut chances were created, Bournemouth dealing with Liverpool fairly well in the process. Ibe replaced for Bournemouth on the 57th minute for Frenchman Mousset as Eddie Howe tried to switch things up with his side still in the game.
Liverpool finally stamped their mark on the match, what a way to get to 40 goals this season, Mo Salah showing exactly the form he has been showing all season in front of goal. A positive forward ball from Trent and Salah flicks the ball over Begovic with his head, and Salah sees himself get his 30th Premier League goal of the season. A pure instinctive header and Begovic didn’t have a chance.Embed from Getty Images
73 minutes on the clock and Liverpool broke away again as Bournemouth started to pile men forward, Firmino played in on goal, skipped around the goal keeper but saw his shot cleared off the line by Ake.
The 81st minute should have seen Bournemouth back in the game, their best positive spell of the match with lots of bodies forward but unable to get the ball past Karius, credit to Lovren who got a last ditch block in whilst looking injured and Karius too for making his first proper save of the match.
Another chance went begging for Bournemouth in the 83rd minute, Wilson played in behind but the angle too tight and the ball lashed past the far post. Bournemouth looked much more lively upfront since Callum Wilson was introduced earlier in the game.
Liverpool rode the waves of attacks from Bournemouth and Firmino polished, an almost perfect performance, with a goal, 3-0 probably the correct result on reflection of the full 90 minutes, frustration for Eddie Howe’s men.Embed from Getty Images
Liverpool’s top four hopes all but secured with four games remaining and 10 points clear of Chelsea, who have a game in hand. Liverpool also have the goal difference which can be viewed as an extra point in this scenario, Klopp looks to have secured back to back top four finishes.
Mane, the showman, and Liverpool’s complete performance the highlights of the match. Liverpool showing how dominant and controlling they can be in games where they aren’t particularly finishing teams off early. A disciplined and patient performance to say the least from the red men.
Salah’s cushioned no-look header was superb for his 30th goal of the league season. Add this to Mane and Firimino’s goals on the day and that brings the trio to 82 goals this season.Embed from Getty Images
I can honestly say there wasn’t anything worth noting in this one. Jordan Ibe will have been gutted as his return to Anfield only lasted 56 minutes but other than this, a fairly tame matchup for the majority.
Lovren brought off with 10 minutes remaining. He looked to have a little niggle which may concern Liverpool and their fans if serious.
Karius – 7
Trent – 8
Van Dijk – 7
Lovren – 7
Robertson – 7
Wijnaldum – 7
Henderson – 8
Oxlade-Chamberlain – 8
Salah – 8
Mane – 8
Firmino – 7.5
77’ Milner (Mane) – 6
82’ Klavan (Lovren) – 6
90’ Solanke (Firimino) – N/A
Begovic – 6
Daniels – 6
Ake – 7
S Cook – 7
Francis – 7
Fraser – 6
King – 6.5
Gosling – 5
L Cook – 5
Ibe – 5
Defoe – 5
58’ Mousset (Ibe) – 5
70’ Wilson (Defoe) – 6.5
73’ Surman (L Cook) – 5
Liverpool travel West Brom next weekend. They are likely to play a weakened side as they prepare for their first leg against Roma. West Brom all but relegated and need to start taking all 3 points to have any chance of getting away from the drop! Bournemouth welcome Man Utd midweek before traveling to Southampton in another huge relegation clash as Southampton dropped a 2-0 lead against Chelsea recently!
Written by George Pavlou.