It was anything but straightforward as Liverpool moved within nine points of the title with a 2-1 win over Bournemouth, and fans were relieved to return to winning ways.
Liverpool 2-1 Bournemouth
Premier League, Anfield
March 7, 2020
Goals: Salah 25’, Mane 33’; Wilson 9’
It was back to Anfield for Jurgen Klopp‘s Reds and a return to winning ways as Liverpool moved within nine points of the title.
But for the fifth successive game, Liverpool were unable to keep a clean sheet as the visitors struck early through Callum Wilson, with a push on Joe Gomez in the build-up not awarded.
While the Cherries would shortly provide another scare through Nathan Ake, the Reds would go on to dominate possession and were rewarded after Sadio Mane teed up Mohamed Salah on his 100th league appearance for the club.
The provider then turned goalscorer as Virgil van Dijk threaded a sumptuous through ball to Mane to turn the scoreboard back in the Reds’ favour.
Possession and territory were dominated by the Reds in the second 45 but there was little to show for it on the scoreboard, in the end, however, the three points were all that mattered.
Here’s how fans reacted to the victory on Twitter, Facebook and This Is Anfield’s forum.
Fans were left bamboozled as neither the referee or VAR awarded a push on Gomez…
How is that not a push hahahahah
— Sam McGuire (@SamMcGuire90) March 7, 2020
I repeat myself again the problem is isn't with VAR it's the with the officials that are using it.
— Jonathan Higgins (@Jhiggins3) March 7, 2020
Haha, how on earth is that not a foul? Staggering.
But remember, LiVARpool.
— Henry Jackson (@HenryJackson87) March 7, 2020
Push on Gomez is ‘subjective’, Tierney lets it go but it’s the VAR that decides. The whole process is for the VAR to advise, not decide, on subjective issues, that’s why there is a monitor on the side of the pitch. PGMO run their own VAR protocols, they are the problem
— Chris Williams (@Chris78Williams) March 7, 2020
Can not believe the assistant ref missed that obvious push on Joe Gomez. Also can not believe VAR hasn't picked it up. System is broken. #LIVBOU
— David Maddock (@MaddockMirror) March 7, 2020
Reality of the push on Gomez is that if he throws himself to the ground, the foul probably gets given. Players often punished for actually staying on their feet.
— Leanne Prescott (@_lfcleanne) March 7, 2020
The proactive approach for both goals was praised after another sluggish start…
Much better. That goal came from Trent, then Ox (I think?), then Van Dijk stepping forward into the challenge/interception.
Much nicer forward-thinking play, much better anticipation of the game.
— Karl Matchett (@karlmatchett) March 7, 2020
Two goals from two passes from two presses.
— Alex Mansfield (@el_mansfield) March 7, 2020
That's 70 goals for Mo Salah in 100 league appearances for #LFC. More than any other player whose first century of games for the club came in the top-flight, overtaking Sam Raybould’s tally of 67.
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceLFC) March 7, 2020
Would go on a night out with that van Dijk pass.
— Neil Atkinson (@Knox_Harrington) March 7, 2020
Defence splitting pass by Van Dijk to Mane… Great assist ?
— Famous. (@Famous_Anfield) March 7, 2020
That’s absolutely brilliant by Virgil van Dijk! Great finish by Mane! #LFC #LIVBOU
— The Kopinion (@The_Kopinion) March 7, 2020
There was plenty of room for improvement for Adrian, while Milner’s vital clearance was lauded…
I don't like Adrian's parrying technique.
— Dan Kennett (@DanKennett) March 7, 2020
“Adrian‘s tendency to fist away gives me a squeaky bum at times.”
– Werder4life on the forums.
Don’t feel confident with Adrian, parrys everything instead of a simple catch like alisson
— DanBostock (@dan_bostock) March 7, 2020
“Sending that lad a case of Ribena!”
– ptt on the forums.
Everyone asleep except the oldest head in Red – vital, vital clearance.
— Jim Boardman (@JimBoardman) March 7, 2020
We'll definitely raise our game when Atlético come to Anfield, but Adrián is a concern. Fabinho is still class, but needs to improve again and quickly.
— Dahír ? (@dboetan7i) March 7, 2020
Can we just take a min to salute James Milner for his goal line clearance and the professionalism he’s shown over the years, on many occasions playing out of position. ??
— Karl (@KarlThyer) March 7, 2020
It was not pretty but the Reds moved to within three wins of the title, with all eyes now turning to Atletico…
Good result. Some good moments. But also our passing and interplay was pretty awful in the final third and Fabinho remains a concern. Will need better against Atleti.
— Liverpool Offside (@LFCOffside) March 7, 2020
Nerve wracked performance, but you rarely just click your fingers and go from a rut to full flight.
This win could be so important for sparking Liverpool back into form.
— John O'Sullivan (@NotoriousJOS) March 7, 2020
After #LFC's recent poor run, today was all about winning by any means necessary. They did that by responding brilliantly to going behind in controversial circumstances and then matching a team fighting for their lives in the physical battle. Three more wins to go.
— David Lynch (@LynchStandard) March 7, 2020
“We will need that hunger Wednesday. Back to winning ways. Let’s build on this. 22 straight home wins!” – Nicholas Ryan on Facebook.
Another below-par showing from #LFC but they’ve got the points. Goes without saying that a much-improved performance will be needed on Wednesday night but it’s another win in the Premier League.
— Matt Addison (@MattAddison97) March 7, 2020
GET THE FUCK IN! Normal service resumed, thank you very much! Bring on Atletico! YNWA!
— Peter Gourdy (@petergourdy) March 7, 2020
You have to be happy with that. A hard fought 3 points, and now just 3 wins away from the title. Milner was brilliant.
— Green Scouser (@Green_Scouser) March 7, 2020
The result Liverpool wanted but certainly not the performance. A huge improvement required for Wednesday night #LFC
— Jonathan Higgins (@Jhiggins3) March 7, 2020
They just had to win, any way they could. And they did. Nine points from heaven. Goosebumps typing that. Come on you mighty Reds
— Jeff Goulding (@ShanklysBoys1) March 7, 2020