Talking Points: Liverpool 3 Bournemouth 0

Liverpool maintained the huge amount of positivity around the club at the moment with a convincing victory over Bournemouth at Anfield. Early and late strikes from Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino respectively bookended yet another goal from Mo Salah to give Jürgen Klopp’s side three points in their race to secure a top-four finish. 

Win yet again shows vast improvement in multiple areas…

Liverpool can’t defend. Liverpool can’t hang on to leads. Liverpool can’t win games against teams that sit off them. Liverpool can’t win games when not on top form. You get the picture, but all of these factors that used to be associated with this Liverpool side simply just aren’t really true anymore, and results since January and over the last few months completely prove this. The arrival of Virgil Van Dijk has massively improved the whole defence around him and the likes of Andy Robertson and Loris Karius have been in top form since. This confidence has also spread to the midfield and attack, with the goal-scorers in the side now happily playing with the knowledge that they might only have to score one goal to win a match as they can trust their teammates at the other end to keep clean sheets. This was evident in the first-half, as while the Reds were keen to score a second goal, they were in no unnecessary rush and happy to keep the ball moving until opportunities arose. Then in the second-half, while Bournemouth had a few more chances towards the end, you were always confident that Klopp’s side were going to see out the win. This is a much more common trend of Liverpool’s matches nowadays, and it shows the huge progress the players are now making on their journey to becoming a top quality and well-rounded side.

Alexander-Arnold caps off superb week for himself…

After Trent Alexander-Arnold endured difficult outings against Marcus Rashford and Wilfred Zaha, it was emphasised by many that the fullback (who might not even be a fullback) is still very young and will learn plenty from days like that. Well, Trent has clearly done an awful lot of learning as since those games he has been nothing short of tremendous. Against Manchester City in the Champions League he kept Leroy Sane very quiet, and against Bournemouth the Englishman was clearly man-of-the-match. One of his best aspects is his crossing, and after a few warning signs before the break, it was a wicked cross right onto the head of Salah that allowed the Egyptian to score. Trent also worked tirelessly in defence up and down the touchline and fared well against the Cherries’ pace in attack. The fact that Trent is now being strongly recommended by pundits for the England World Cup squad shows just how high a level he is currently operating at. The sky is the limit for Alexander-Arnold.

Midfield three all bring something different to the table…

With Emre Can and Adam Lallana seemingly out injured for the foreseeable future, Liverpool will have to make do for the rest of the season with four central midfielders for three spots in the starting line-up. James Milner was rightly given a rest after the incredible amount of work and running he has put in in the last week or so, meaning a return to the side for captain Jordan Henderson. And believe it or not, Henderson put in a really good performance certainly deserving of praise. It was actually a nicely balanced midfield three against Eddie Howe’s men. Gini Wijnaldum provided the short quick passes – becoming only the fourth player in the league this season to complete 40 passes or more with 100% pass accuracy, Henderson played the longer more adventurous passes to get the fullbacks and wingers running in behind – his pass leading to Mane’s opener, and finally Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who was the best of the lot, supplied the directness and running with the ball – claiming an assist for Firmino at the end. It was a midfield three that ticked all the boxes, and Klopp will have a decision to make about who he leaves out for the Roma games.

Salah sensational even when not at his best…

It definitely wasn’t the Salah we have gotten used to seeing this season for long periods against Bournemouth, with the winger not placing his finishes well or taking good enough first touches. But Salah has been playing so well that he doesn’t have to be on it all game. As long as he keeps getting the chances and getting into goal-scoring positions, he will score eventually, and boy what a finish it was. A backwards header without even looking where the goal was that looped over Asmir Begovic. Stunning. That is now 40 goals for Salah in all competitions this season, and he will be eying up plenty of success, both individual and collective, before the season ends. Credit must also go to Mane and Firmino, Salah’s partners in crime, who also found themselves on the scoresheet and thus increased their respective impressive tallies. Liverpool have the best attack in Europe at the moment, fact, and you would back them to outscore anyone that stands in their way of Champions League glory.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this:
Skip to toolbar