Bournemouth 0 – 4 Liverpool
This was a game that should have been far more difficult than the final score portrayed. Bournemouth came into this encounter on the back of a very solid run of form, despite their last outing ending in defeat against Spurs. The appointment of the Cherries current manager, Andoni Iraola, has created a far stronger impression on the playing squad, one that was previously welcoming the sword to fall on them. An increased purpose and belief in the playing squad has led to a tally of 25-points from 21 games, which should see them safely navigate their way to an end of season midtable finish. Liverpool, on the other hand, have loftier ambitions and their own mindset appears to have reverted to something that was once present and terrifying for the opposition. Under the stewardship of the great and infectious Jürgen Klopp, this v2.0 squad has discovered a savage mentality that is now verging on monstrous, something that could lead to a variety of silverware in a few months’ time.
Below is how the team lined up, with match details following.
The Starting Eleven
GK – Alisson Becker
RB – Conor Bradley
RCB – Ibrahima Konaté
LCB – Virgil van Dijk (c)
LB – Joe Gomez
RCM – Harvey Elliott
CDM – Alexis Mac Allister
LCM – Curtis Jones
RF – Luis Díaz
CF – Diogo Jota
LF – Darwin Núñez
Ryan Gravenberch – Harvey Elliott (62 mins)
Cody Gakpo – Luis Díaz (66 mins)
Bobby Clark – Curtis Jones (83 mins)
Owen Beck – Conor Bradley (83 mins)
Kaide Gordon – Diogo Jota (90+4 mins)
Bournemouth 0 – 1 Liverpool
Darwin Núñez (Diogo Jota) 49 mins
Bournemouth 0 – 2 Liverpool
Diogo Jota (Cody Gakpo) 70 mins
Bournemouth 0 – 3 Liverpool
Diogo Jota (Conor Bradley) 79 mins
Bournemouth 0 – 4 Liverpool
Darwin Núñez (Joe Gomez) 90+3 mins
Important Match Stats
Bournemouth 39% – 61% Liverpool
Bournemouth 11 – 14 Liverpool
Bournemouth 16 – 17 Liverpool
Bournemouth 6 – 1 Liverpool
Bournemouth 8 – 5 Liverpool
Bournemouth 3 – 1 Liverpool
The First Half
The opening period of this game saw the visitors start to take control of the possession stakes, as chosen territories were swiftly occupied by each competing eleven. Despite a couple of moments of bluster in the initial minutes from the hosts, the reds became the dominant entity that gradually strangled the life from their adversary. The slow and methodical nature of Liverpool’s play can sometimes be morph into frustration, which then calls for the manager to intervene. The starting lineup was very much as expected and it was interesting to see the Colombian flyer, Luis Díaz, switched to the right flank. A combination of he and Harvey Elliott never took flight, as both struggled to impact the game. Curtis Jones was industrious, whereas Alexis Mac Allister was the controller of all things offensive. The combination of Darwin and Diogo Jota threatened to make something happen, yet the minutes ticked by without any movement from third gear. The back four was solid and efficient, as the gigantic centre backs dominated their zone.
The half ended as it had started and an instructive half time team-talk was most certainly needed.
The Second Half
On resumption of the second half, no changes were made, However, movement of the ball and the players in red had evidently ramped up. The defensive line of the home side, suddenly seemed stretched and the nature of Liverpool’s attacks seemed that bit more venomous. It took just four minutes of the second period for the contests first goal to be scored, as Diogo Jota found the path of a centrally waiting Darwin Núñez, who was able to clinically dispatch the ball into the bottom corner. The pattern of play was sublime, which involved the ever-present Curtis Jones and the reds were ahead. A pair of well-timed substitutions were undertaken a little over ten minutes later, as more energy and pressure was applied to a teetering Bournemouth. Cody Gakpo and Ryan Gravenberch replaced Luis Díaz and Harvey Elliott, to add a little calmer and finesse to the attacking third. The second goal was a delight, as the Portuguese predator lashed the ball into the net, with a ferocious near post finish. The newly introduced Dutchman, Cody Gakpo, had found his teammate on the edge of the area, after Darwin had won back possession forty yards from goal. A scramble of the Bournemouth rearguard was undertaken, yet the scores doubled nonetheless.
The third goal sealed the win for Klopp’s men, as Conor Bradley pulled back for Jota to double his scoring tally (after an initial fumble) and complete a third goal contribution for the afternoon. The intensity of the travelling players never eased and the desire to maintain a clean sheet was never more apparent. Both Ibrahima Konaté and Virgil van Dijk batted away everything that dared come their way, as Alexis Mac Allister pulled all the on-ball strings ahead of them. The final goal was a fitting end to a brilliant second half performance, as the scoreline reached emphatic. Joe Gomez had been switched over to right back after the next raft of substitutions, so was eager to deliver a superb cross to the back post, which the Uruguayan chaos maker prodded in off the post.
The energetic and resurgent reds were victorious, which saw a five-point gap emerge at the top of the Premier League table.
— AnfieldIndex (@AnfieldIndex) January 22, 2024
What Are My Final Thoughts?
This was a brilliant result, which was filled with nervous doubt in the days prior. The mentality monsters and their illustrious German manager have remembered who they are, with an intent to deliver for the jubilant fanbase. Diogo Jota was deadly, Darwin was uncontrollable, Alexis Mac Allister was confident and commanding, where the full backs and Curtis were the engines which drove the machine.
The only blight was to see Curtis Jones leave the pitch injured, something that will be keenly observed over the coming days.
Bournemouth 1 – 3 Liverpool