Media love “joy to watch” Szoboszlai – but Liverpool warned over “chaos”

Liverpool weren’t always convincing in their 3-1 victory over Bournemouth, but Dominik Szoboszlai earned special praise from the watching media.

The Reds were back in home Premier League action for the first time since May, picking up a hard-earned three points.

After falling behind to Antoine Semenya’s early goal, Luis Diaz and Mohamed Salah both found the net, before Alexis Mac Allister was ludicrously sent off on his debut.

Just as Bournemouth sensed they had a chance of getting back into the game, Diogo Jota pounced to complete the scoring, as Liverpool secured their first win of the season.

Here’s the best of the media reaction to the Reds’ victory.


It was a gritty three points for Liverpool…

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 19, 2023: Liverpool's Luis Díaz controls the ball during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and AFC Bournemouth at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Andy Hunter of the Guardian dissected the win, saying that the start was far from ideal:

“Liverpool heartened and perplexed Anfield in equal measure. Jurgen Klopp’s side registered their first win of the new campaign with a vibrant comeback against Bournemouth, even after being reduced to ten men, but the recovery was only necessary due to a calamitous opening against Andoni Iraola’s visitors.

“Defensive concerns continue to accompany Liverpool’s prodigious attacking strengths.


“With a different manager, new players and fresh approach Bournemouth were unrecognisable from the team humiliated 9-0 in Scott Parker’s final game as manager here 12 months ago and fully deserving of an early lead. It helped that their relentless pressing met a woeful defensive response from Liverpool.”

This Is Anfield‘s Mark Delgado admitted that it wasn’t too convincing at times by the Reds:

“We’ve been here before and we don’t like it, but Liverpool have still got a long way to go to sort out the defensive issues, both in the team and in the system.

“One factor that should be reasonable to expect improvement in is concentration and intent from kick-off; last season saw us going behind with far too great frequency and especially early in matches.

“The Reds had a warning just a few seconds in, didn’t heed it and still went behind. Individual errors, a lack of focus and the usual muddle of who does what contributed to going 1-0 down within minutes.

Trent Alexander-Arnold can be looked at for poor control on both the disallowed goal and the one which counted, but so too must we look at Virgil van Dijk‘s choice of pass, Andy Robertson‘s ineffective tackle and Alisson who, soon after, almost cost another goal and got himself booked after losing possession.

“The poor defensive work didn’t entirely disappear thereafter, but thankfully our attacking superiority certainly overtook any issues at the other end. It won’t always be that way, it needs to be fixed.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 19, 2023: Liverpool's Luis Díaz celebrates scoring their side's first goal making the score 1-1 during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and AFC Bournemouth at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Mail‘s Lewis Steele felt it was “chaos” at Anfield, but not always in a good way:

“At times Liverpool attacked like the formidable unit that thrashed Bournemouth 9-0 in this fixture a year ago.

“At other moments, they looked like a pub team that had never played together before. If Jurgen Klopp likes the phrase ‘organised chaos’, this was more simply just chaos.


“If the Cherries had a bit more about them at both ends early on, they could have punished Liverpool and this would have been a different story.”

On Twitter, David Lynch was more positive about the game, though:


Szoboszlai was the star of the show for the Reds…

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 19, 2023: Liverpool's Dominik Szoboszlai during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and AFC Bournemouth at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Liverpool Echo‘s Theo Squires loved what he saw from the Hungarian:

“Endo might have been the man on all Reds lips before kick-off, but come the final whistle Kopites were going home waxing lyrical about Dominik Szoboszlai.

“It was the £60m signing that won the penalty in the 36th minute for Mohamed Salah to fire Liverpool in front, with his footwork too quick for Joe Rothwell in the box. Turning the game on its head as two goals in quick succession wiped out an early deficit.


“The Hungarian showed his true value after the break, going from strength to strength as Liverpool attacked the Kop with his work-rate in midfield effectively eradicating the Reds’ one-man disadvantage following Mac Allister’s dismissal as he pressed hard and led counter-attack after counter-attack.

“In a two-man midfield alongside Endo, for the final 32 minutes Szoboszlai covered every blade of grass. A joy to watch on the ball as he ran past opponents with ease, he completed three of his five dribbles with both totals the highest on the pitch.”

On Twitter, The Tactical Times were hugely impressed by the impact Szoboszlai had:


There was questionable refereeing yet again…

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 19, 2023: Liverpool's Alexis Mac Allister (R) is sent off by Referee Thomas Bramall after a high challenge on Bournemouth's Ryan Christie during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and AFC Bournemouth at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Michael Emons of BBC Sport was deeply unimpressed by the decision to send Mac Allister off:

“Both managers may be unhappy with refereeing decisions, with Liverpool’s penalty appearing a soft decision as Rothwell made minimal contact with Hungary captain Szoboszlai as he stretched out his leg.

“Klopp will be disappointed with the decision to send off Mac Allister for what seemed a genuine attempt to win the ball.

“While there did not look to be any malice in the challenge, the former Brighton midfielder’s boot was high as he caught Christie.

“The Liverpool fans booed the decision while Klopp tried to provide some words of comfort for the Argentine as he walked off the pitch after an inauspicious end to his Anfield debut.”

Finally, Paul Tomkins provided a fascinating insight into decisions that have gone against Liverpool from referees in recent years:

Certainly food for thought!