Bournemough 4-3 Liverpool
Premier League, Anfield
December 4, 2016
Goals: Wilson 56′ (pen), Fraser 76′, Cook 78′, Aké 90+3′; Mané 20′, Origi 22′, Can 64
Loris Karius – 5
Got down well at his near post to diffuse a cross in the first half, and made a slightly unorthodox save in the second half to tip a shot over the bar.
Faced Callum Wilson from 12 yards out when Bournemouth won a penalty, but went the wrong way.
Made a really important save from Benik Afobe to prevent his side from going behind with 10 minutes to go. He positioned himself well, and made his frame big to deflect the ball wide.
But with minutes to go, he spilled a shot allowing Nathan Ake to score his side’s fourth and win the game. He might have hoped for more help from those around him, but it was still a bad error.
Nathaniel Clyne – 7
Clyne pressed high up the pitch from the full-back position as Liverpool dominated the opening exchanges.
In attack he played in a couple of good crosses, one of which put the ball on a plate for Origi to score, but somehow the Belgian missed.
Of Liverpool‘s starting lineup, Clyne boasted the highest pass completion rate with 89 percent.
Lucas Leiva – 6
Demonstrated a good range of passing at centre-back, even if some of his more advanced through balls didn’t come off.
The Brazilian regularly roamed forward with the ball, attempting to replicate Matip’s role in the side.
Defensively though he struggled to form a partnership with Lovren as they failed to control the Bournemouth attackers, and looked susceptible to any runners from midfield.
Dejan Lovren – 4
Didn’t have much to do in the first half, but it was his poor clearing header which led to the concession of a penalty in the second period.
He should have dealt with Wilson in the buildup to Bournemouth‘s second goal, and needlessly gave away the free-kick which put the opposition in a good position to score their third.
His poor display was rounded off when he lost the battle with Afobe, allowing the striker through on goal but was saved by Karius.
James Milner – 6
The midfielder-turned-left-back looks to be improving positionally in the role he’s been given this season, but he blighted an otherwise good performance in both attack and defence by giving away a soft penalty in the second half.
He made a couple of important tackles throughout the game though, and it was an good performance other than his clumsy foul in the area.
Jordan Henderson – 6
It was Henderson’s low, searching pass which set up Origi for Liverpool‘s second goal.
He played a neat little first-time pass to Firmino in the second half, and generally looked to be more forward thinking with his play.
Bournemouth were regularly able to run into the area he should occupy defensively, but the captain’s engine means he’s often able to get back to recover.
He should, however, have done better for Bournemouth‘s second goal as Ryan Fraser scored from the position he should be patrolling on the edge of the area.
The defence was exposed to often, and Henderson’s midfield organisation and positional play in defence played a part in this.
Emre Can – 8
Played the ball forward for Mane for the first goal, utilising his team-mates pace with a ranging pass behind the opposition defence.
He battled well in midfield, emerging as Liverpool‘s top tackler with four tackles.
He should have been more defensively aware in the second half, especially after his excellent goal had put Liverpool ahead by three goals to one.
He showed some neat touches in the first half, and regularly got forward to join the striker.
He could also be seen tracking back to win the ball, and filled Lallana’s position much better than he did Coutinho’s.
He may not have got himself on the scoresheet, and he didn’t get any assists, but he was still one of Liverpool‘s better players on the day.
Sadio Mane – 7
Began the game with a few sloppy touches, but showed that pace can always be a threat regardless of form.
All it needed was one touch on Can’s pass to knock the ball past Artur Boruc and open the scoring.
He had a hand in the third goal and returned the favour for Can, dribbling down the right into the area before pulling the ball back for his team-mate to score.
The game summed up Mane’s whole season in one match. He was brilliant at times, but sloppy and careless on other occasions.
Divock Origi – 7
Should have scored from Clyne’s cross with just 10 minutes gone. Chose to go with his right foot when he should have used his left to tap-in.
More than made up for this later on in the half by rounding Boruc and scoring from a near-impossible angle.
The finish was made even more difficult by the fact that the shot would naturally curl away from goal, and it needed to be hit off the ground to avoid covering defenders.
Almost won the game for his side in the final minutes, when a great first touch gave him the chance to steer the ball home on the turn, but his effort went just over.
Roberto Firmino – 5
The Brazilian forward struggled to get into the game, and will be disappointed with his lack of impact in a game where he could have made the difference.
He had one left-footed effort which sailed over, and despite dropping deep to get the ball, he rarely received the return pass.
He was also very lucky not to give away a penalty when he fouled Nathan Ake in the box following a corner.
Adam Lallana (on for Mane, 68′) – 6
Not as involved on the right as he normally is from his preferred attacking midfield position through the middle.
Linked up play when he had the chance, and managed to get a shot off in injury time but it sailed wide.
Jurgen Klopp – 6
Playing Lucas in place of Matip at centre back worked in attack, but the Cameroonian centre-back’s absence left the Liverpool defence exposed.
With Mamadou Sakho on his way out of the club, another centre back of Matip’s calibre should be the top of Klopp’s list come January (*cough* Virgil Van Dijk *cough*)
The midfield set-up used here didn’t offer a flailing defence much support, and there was regularly a big gap between the two centre-backs and the midfield, and Henderson.
Klopp’s use of Wijnaldum in Lallana’s role worked, but the introduction of Lallana on the right wing in the second half didn’t add much to the play.
He made no other substitutions in the game, which is a rare for the German manager – only the second time this season he’s not used all three subs. This is perhaps a hint that he’ll need to dip into the transfer market for multiple players come January.