Liverpool 2-1 Bournemouth
Premier League, Anfield
March 7, 2020
Goals: Salah 25′, Mane 33′; Wilson 9′
Adrian (out of 10) – 6
He was a shaky presence throughout the afternoon though, failing to catch routine shots and unconvincingly palming one header onto the crossbar.
Liverpool need a more authoritative performance from him against Atletico Madrid.
Alexander-Arnold returned to the side after a rest and he was one of the Reds’ more effective attacking players.
The 21-year-old’s quality was constantly evident down the right flank, especially one trademark long-range pass to James Milner.
He did look susceptible at the back, though, not always dealing with danger, but he grew into the game in that respect.
Joe Gomez – 6
Before the match, Gomez had never lost at home for Liverpool when playing at centre-back and that remarkable record continued on Saturday.
This was far from the centre-back’s most dominant performance, but he did improve as the match went on.
Gomez was unfortunate not to win a free-kick in the lead-up to Callum Wilson’s opener.
Virgil van Dijk – 6
Van Dijk continued his ever-present record in the league this season and this was a solid outing on the whole.
Liverpool’s No.4 wasn’t at his absolute best, failing to look wholly convincing alongside Gomez, but he did make important headers and looked slick in possession.
Sometimes we just expect a bit too much from him.
James Milner – 8
Milner was brought in at left-back in place of Andy Robertson for his first start since the start of January.
The veteran did an admirable job in an auxiliary role, even if his limitations were exposed there – namely a lack of pace going forward.
He made an incredible goal-line clearance to preserve Liverpool’s lead in the second half, summing up his dependability, and his experience was key late on.
Fabinho – 5
Fabinho has been poor since his return from injury in late January and this was another disjointed performance.
The towering Brazilian was neat and tidy on the ball at times, but he also looked leggy, especially in the lead up to Ryan Fraser’s chance that Milner cleared off the line.
A lack of match practice can’t keep being used as an excuse as he has almost been back for seven weeks now.
Oxlade-Chamberlain was given another chance to impress in the centre of Liverpool’s midfield, and he did adequately against the struggling Cherries.
Replaced by Adam Lallana late on.
Gini Wijnaldum – 7
Wijnaldum hasn’t been at his best in recent weeks but he was improved on Saturday afternoon.
There was more energy and purpose to his display, whether it be driving forward with the ball or battling to win it back.
We need this sort of influence from Wijnaldum on Wednesday night, if not more so.
Mohamed Salah – 7
Salah made his 100th Premier League appearance for Liverpool as he searched for his 70th goal in that time.
He did just that, with the Egyptian causing constant problems with his speed and movement, and he took his goal brilliantly.
He was always forward-thinking, and while he did concede possession a number of times, he shone.
The first LFC player since Michael Owen in 2002/03 to score 20 goals in three consecutive seasons.
Sadio Mane – 8 (Man of the Match)
The Senegalese returned to his usual left-sided role at Anfield having played on the right away to Chelsea in the week.
He was short of his top level at times, but he ultimately got a goal and an assist to his name to effectively win the match.
While his pass to Salah was actually poor – the most undeserved assist of the campaign so far? – his finish for his goal was ruthless, and he nearly scored an outrageous strike that hit the bar, too.
Roberto Firmino – 5
Firmino led the line in search of his first home league goal of the campaign, but he was miles off the pace.
His normally inch-perfect use of the ball was strangely off the boil and one glorious late chance should have killed the game off.
He’s in a very noticeable slump and Liverpool’s play falls apart when he struggles.
Adam Lallana (on for Oxlade-Chamberlain, 84′) – 6
A fairly unnoticed cameo from the soon-to-be former Liverpool midfielder.
Divock Origi (on for Firmino, 90+2′) – N/A
Subs not used: Lonergan, Matip, Williams, Keita, Minamino
Jurgen Klopp – 7
By Klopp’s standards, this hasn’t been a good week but he ensured his side ground out another vital three points in the title race.
There were few qualms to be had with the manager’s starting lineup, and although the performance wasn’t convincing, the winning mentality the manager has instilled got the Reds over the finish line.
It’s now time to focus on Atletico on Wednesday in what is a huge night for Klopp and his players.