Liverpool complete perfect week as Salah scores again
Liverpool XI: Karius, Robertson, Van Dijk, Lovren, Alexander-Arnold, Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wijnauldum, Mane, Firminho, Salah.
Bournemouth XI: Begovic, Daniels, Aké, S.Cook, Francis, Fraser, King, Gosling, L. Cook, Ibe, Defoe.
Coming off an exhilarating cup tie against Premier League champions elect, most people were divided: would Liverpool ride this wave of dominance heading into one of their final matches or would they inch back to reality?
The match started off with both teams pacing the field, trying to find openings in the defense. Liverpool, looking to finish in a top 3 spot in the Premier League, and Bournemouth, trying finish within the top 10.
In the seventh minute, a cross sent in from Jordan Henderson found Sadio Mane’s head but was deflected by Begovic. Unfortunately for Bournemouth, it deflected right back onto Mane, who made no mistake as the ball flew past the former Chelsea keeper.
Salah had his own share of chances ranging from crosses and 1 on 1 attempts but most of them ended going wide of the goal or into the hands of the keeper. Early on, it seemed that Liverpool was exhausted from their recent Champions League quarter-final win and it was Bournemouth’s chance to take advantage of the elite team.
Jordan Ibe had a chance in the the 11th minute, landing only slightly above the crossbar and out of play. Surely, Ibe was out to impress his former team. Mohamed Salah’s chances gradually increased throughout the first half, making it seem like the winger was keen on securing the Golden Boot this year, even after Harry Kane had won his appeal and earned an extra goal on the season. Salah chose to shoot or dribble in situations where he would’ve passed earlier in the season.
Before the conclusion of the first half, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had a chance of doubling Liverpool’s lead on Bournemouth, rushing through the middle and shooting from outside the penalty box. Hoping to recreate his screamer against Manchester City in the game, the ball flew wide and ended with a change in possession. The second half showed that Liverpool was up to the task of securing the win but multiple offsides from Roberto Firmino quickly forced Liverpool to slow its pace and find other ways to penetrate the defense.
In the 62nd minute, Salah had a flurry of chances on goal, all but one proving unfruitful. First, Salah had the ball in front of goal but Ake’s defense quickly changed possession. Salah quickly followed up with a chipped header off of Alexander Arnold’s cross to double the Liverpool lead and send the crowd into a frenzy.
The most serious of Bournemouth’s attempts, although low in number, came in from Gosling’s strike late in the game and required a diving deflection from Karius.
Firminho finished the game with another goal in stoppage time, only confirming what the Anfield supporters had known for some time.
Liverpool now takes sole possession of third place in the Premier League (70 points), only trailing Manchester United by 1 point. Their next game comes against Ahmed Hegazy and West Bromwich Albion on April 21st.
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