Liverpool lose to Bournemouth as Salah misses a penalty
After an outstanding victory that hurt Liverpool’s chances of making the Champions League for the following season, Mohamed Salah’s egregious penalty mistake enabled Bournemouth to escape the relegation zone.
Following last week’s 7-0 demolition of Manchester United, the Reds were dragged back to earth as the bottom-of-the-table Cherries improved their hopes of surviving.
After excellent work by Dango Ouattara, Philip Billing, who was unmarked, scored his sixth Premier League goal of the year from eight yards out to punish Liverpool for shoddy defence.
At 0-0, Virgil van Dijk’s effort was cleared off the line, and replacement Diogo Jota was denied by a brilliant save from Neto before Liverpool was awarded a penalty after Adam Smith handled the Portugal forward’s header.
But, Salah, who last week passed Henry Best as Liverpool’s all-time leading Premier League scorer with 129 goals, fired the penalty wide to the joy of Bournemouth supporters.
While the victory moved Bournemouth up to 16th before kickoff at 15:00 GMT, Jurgen Klopp’s team lost the opportunity to go into fourth place for the first time this season due to a sluggish performance.
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The Reds failed to score against the worst Premier League defense after scoring seven goals in their last game.
Liverpool has improved recently, but this was a setback for a club that will have a difficult assignment to stay in the Champions League when they travel to Real Madrid on Wednesday and attempt to overcome a 5-2 deficit.
Their inconsistent away performance—three victories in 13 league games—remains a hindrance.
This was Liverpool’s final Premier League match for three weeks, with the London club’s participation in the FA Cup forcing the postponement of next week’s home match against Fulham and the first international break of 2023.
When they return, they have back-to-back away games against Manchester City (1 April) and Chelsea (4 April), followed by a home game against the league’s top team, Arsenal (9 April).
Klopp will be hoping that his team has moved past this defeat by then.
Bournemouth exhibits their fighting spirit.
When these two clubs last faced off, Liverpool triumphed 9-0 at Anfield, and Scott Parker was fired.
This was Bournemouth’s first victory at home and just the club’s second victory overall since Gary O’Neil was appointed as the team’s permanent manager in November.
The Cherries should be commended for coming back from last weekend’s extremely taxing game at Arsenal, where they had a 2-0 lead before giving up the game-winning goal in the 97th minute.
After being promoted last season, they still have work to do if they want to avoid an abrupt return to the Championship, but this result will greatly boost their morale.
Bournemouth had a solid defense and created difficulties going forward thanks to Ouattara, who posed a serious threat.
The presence of David Brooks was another another great plus for the home crowd.
Since receiving a cancer diagnosis in 2022, the Wales winger has never been on the bench again.