Match ends, Bournemouth 1, Liverpool 0.
Mohamed Salah’s glaring penalty miss ensured Bournemouth climbed out of the relegation zone after an excellent win which damaged Liverpool’s chances of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.
The Reds were brought back down to earth after last week’s 7-0 thrashing of Manchester United as the Cherries, who started the weekend bottom, did their survival chances a power of good.
Liverpool were punished for poor defending when the unmarked Philip Billing struck from eight yards out for his sixth Premier League goal of the season after fine work by Dango Ouattara.
Virgil van Dijk had a header cleared off the line at 0-0 and substitute Diogo Jota was denied by Neto’s fine save before Liverpool won a penalty after the Portugal forward’s header was handled by Adam Smith.
But Salah, who became Liverpool’s all-time top Premier League scorer with 129 goals last week, blazed the penalty wide much to the delight of Bournemouth’s fans.
While the win catapulted Bournemouth to 16th before the 15:00 GMT kick-offs, Jurgen Klopp’s side missed the chance to go fourth for the first time this season after a lethargic display.
Having scored seven times in their last match, the Reds failed to register a goal against the worst defence in the Premier League.
Liverpool have made strides in recent weeks but this was a step backwards for a team who face a mountainous task to stay in the Champions League when they go to European champions Real Madrid on Wednesday, looking to claw back a 5-2 deficit.
Their patchy away form – just three wins in 13 league games on the road – continues to hold them back.
With next week’s home game with Fulham postponed due to the London club’s involvement in the FA Cup followed by the first international break of 2023, this was Liverpool’s last game on the Premier League stage for three weeks.
They face back-to-back away games at Manchester City (1 April) and Chelsea (4 April) when they return, followed by a home match with leaders Arsenal (9 April).
Klopp will hope his side have washed this defeat out of their system by then.
Bournemouth show they are up for fight
The last time these two teams met, Liverpool won 9-0 at Anfield and Scott Parker was sacked.
This was only Bournemouth’s second win – and first at home – since Gary O’Neil was made permanent manager in November after a spell as interim boss.
The Cherries deserve enormous credit for bouncing back after last weekend’s emotionally-draining game at Arsenal when they led 2-0 before conceding a winner in the 97th minute.
They still have work to do if they are to avoid a quick-fire return to the Championship following last season’s promotion, but this performance will give the team a huge confidence lift.
Bournemouth were strong at the back and caused problems going forward with Ouattara a real threat.
There was another huge positive for the home fans in the shape of David Brooks.
The Wales winger was back on the bench for the first time since being diagnosed with cancer in 2022.
How to play
Rate players out of 10 throughout or after the game. The rater will close 30 minutes after the final whistle.
Rating range key = Give it up = Pure perfection
Squad number13Player nameNetoAverage rating
Squad number15Player nameA SmithAverage rating
Squad number3Player nameStephensAverage rating
Squad number25Player nameSenesiAverage rating
Squad number5Player nameKellyAverage rating
Squad number11Player nameOuattaraAverage rating
Squad number14Player nameRothwellAverage rating
Squad number8Player nameLermaAverage rating
Squad number32Player nameAnthonyAverage rating
Squad number29Player nameBillingAverage rating
Squad number9Player nameSolankeAverage rating
Squad number2Player nameFredericksAverage rating
Squad number4Player nameL CookAverage rating
Squad number10Player nameChristieAverage rating
Squad number18Player nameViñaAverage rating
Squad number24Player nameSemenyoAverage rating
Squad number1Player nameAlissonAverage rating
Squad number66Player nameAlexander-ArnoldAverage rating
Squad number5Player nameKonatéAverage rating
Squad number4Player namevan DijkAverage rating
Squad number26Player nameRobertsonAverage rating
Squad number19Player nameElliottAverage rating
Squad number3Player nameFabinhoAverage rating
Squad number43Player nameBajceticAverage rating
Squad number11Player nameMohamed SalahAverage rating
Squad number18Player nameGakpoAverage rating
Squad number27Player nameNúñezAverage rating
Squad number7Player nameMilnerAverage rating
Squad number9Player nameRoberto FirminoAverage rating
Squad number14Player nameHendersonAverage rating
Squad number20Player nameDiogo JotaAverage rating
Squad number28Player nameFábio CarvalhoAverage rating
- 15A SmithSubstituted forFredericksat 80′minutes
- 8LermaSubstituted forL Cookat 81′minutes
- 32AnthonyBooked at 51minsSubstituted forViñaat 88′minutes
- 29BillingBooked at 46minsSubstituted forChristieat 70′minutes
- 9SolankeSubstituted forSemenyoat 88′minutes
- 4L Cook
- 66Alexander-ArnoldSubstituted forMilnerat 65′minutes
- 5KonatéBooked at 75mins
- 4van Dijk
- 19ElliottSubstituted forJotaat 45′minutes
- 3FabinhoSubstituted forHendersonat 65′minutes
- 43BajceticSubstituted forCarvalhoat 88′minutes
- 27NúñezSubstituted forFirminoat 66′minutes
- John Brooks