Match reportLiverpool suffer Premier League defeat at Bournemouth
Liverpool were beaten 1-0 at AFC Bournemouth in Saturday afternoon's Premier League clash.
After several good chances for the Reds in the early phases, Philip Billing’s 28th-minute finish handed the home team an advantage at Vitality Stadium.
Mohamed Salah was then off target with a penalty kick midway through the second half and Jürgen Klopp’s side were unable to conjure a leveller.
There was a single change to the Reds’ starting XI on the south coast as Stefan Bajcetic came into midfield, with Jordan Henderson dropping to the bench.
Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold (Milner, 65), Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho (Henderson, 65), Bajcetic (Carvalho, 87), Elliott (Jota, 46), Salah, Nunez (Firmino, 66), Gakpo.
Unused substitutes: Adrian, Tsimikas, Arthur, Matip.
On a bitterly cold lunchtime at Vitality Stadium, the game warmed up quickly and there was a series of promising chances in the early stages.
With just six minutes elapsed, Virgil van Dijk met a deep corner kick from Trent Alexander-Arnold on the right with a header back across goal that was destined for the net until Jefferson Lerma intervened.
The Cherries were in front of the Liverpool goal moments later. Dominic Solanke cut out Alexander-Arnold’s pass and slipped Dango Ouattara in behind one-on-one; he rounded Alisson Becker as the goalkeeper stood firm but could only hit the side-netting from a narrowing angle.
Andy Robertson’s driven strike from close range was pushed away by Neto – having been picked out from Van Dijk’s precise clip over the top – and Cody Gakpo turned the ball home from an offside position after a Darwin Nunez knockdown.
Instead, it was the hosts who got the opening goal on 28 minutes.
Ouattara broke into space down the right channel and fizzed in a low delivery that was swept past Alisson by the arriving Billing in the middle of the area.
Liverpool carved out a great chance to equalise just before the break, Van Dijk glancing wide of the left post after Robertson’s threatening set-piece into the six-yard box.
Solanke thrashed a decent sight of goal too high when set up by Marcos Senesi and the half ended with Bournemouth aggrieved by Ibrahima Konate and Van Dijk challenges not being penalised but nevertheless in front.
Klopp introduced Diogo Jota at the start of the second half – the Portugal international’s 100th appearance for the club – with Harvey Elliott withdrawn and Gakpo shifted into a deeper-lying position.
And Jota soon worked Neto, having battled to win possession in Cherries territory, strode forward and aimed a finish for inside the right post that was swatted away.
The contest was becoming increasingly stretched and frantic, with further clear opportunities eluding the Reds, and there was a reshuffle in the 65th minute as Roberto Firmino, Henderson and James Milner replaced Nunez, Fabinho and Alexander-Arnold.
Seconds later Liverpool had a penalty, awarded by the referee via a VAR review after Jota’s back-post header from Milner’s lofted cross was blocked by the arm of Adam Smith.
Salah stepped up to the kick but guided his arced effort wide of the goal to the left.
The Reds continued to press for a response and Bournemouth kept a persistent counter-attacking threat – Antoine Semenyo dragging wide and Gakpo firing over the crossbar during stoppage time – but Klopp’s men could not find a way through to gain any points.