It took Liverpool 45 minutes to warm up, but their four unanswered goals against Bournemouth made for a well deserved victory on night that saw a handful of Reds shine.
Bournemouth 0-4 Liverpool
Premier League (21), Vitality Stadium
January 21, 2024
Goals: Nunez 49′, 93′, Jota 70′, 80′
Alisson – 7 (out of 10)
Safe hands when needed in less than optimum conditions, the weather did, in turn, lead to some balls straight out of play – but he wasn’t the only one to fall victim to the wind.
Conor Bradley – 8
The 20-year-old, making his Premier League debut, was out to do the basics well as the Cherries targeted his side of the pitch, and he was more than often up for the task.
Can’t make direct comparisons to Trent Alexander-Arnold, though there was a clear desire to burst forward and move the ball on quickly. Ended his night with a deserved assist, and he even had great chances to score one of his own, too.
Ibrahima Konate – 9 (Man of the Match)
Twisting a player down onto their backside was a highlight as he looked to play out from the back, which he did well throughout the match.
A pillar at the back, Konate was dominant and firmly in control throughout – a lunging block when 2-0 up was a testament to his performance that concluded with five recoveries, nine clearances and 12 duels won. Colossus.
Virgil van Dijk – 8
All he’ll care about is the win and a clean sheet, we know how much our captain loves them! What a centre-back pairing we have.
Joe Gomez – 7
Took time to blow out the cobwebs and find his range, but thankfully, this was not a game where he needed to be anything spectacular, though we all appreciated his assist for Darwin Nunez to close out an emphatic victory.
Alexis Mac Allister – 9
At times you marvel at how well Mac Allister rides tackles, and it was no different here as the No. 10 coupled his strength on the ball with brilliant passes that created width and chances.
A level above most of his peers for much of the match and, in truth, it created the foundations for which the victory was built on.
Harvey Elliott – 6
Readily involved and always eager for the ball, Elliott was consistently looking to push forward and if possession was lost he was one of the first to race back – he finished with three successful tackles from three attempts.
But at times you’re left asking for more quality from him in the crucial moments, as was the case when his burst forward ended with the ball flying into the stands.
Curtis Jones – 7
Grew into the game and positioned himself nicely to find pockets of space to exploit, must be given credit for seeing the pass in the build-up to the opening goal.
He’s still probably scratching his head as to why his challenge at Tottenham was a red when others similar, or worse, have gone unpunished.
Was clutching at his hamstring and forced off, hopefully it’s nothing serious.
Luis Diaz – 6
The most natural choice to take up the right wing position in Mo Salah‘s absence, and we’re thankful Justin Kluivert’s studs up challenge did not cause any serious damage – how didn’t we even get a free-kick?!
It was not his night, though, as he struggled to create and have an influence, finishing with 32 touches before being understandably hooked just after the hour mark.
Darwin Nunez – 9
The challenge for Nunez is to be able to have a presence from start to finish, though we can’t complain too much when he is making a scoreboard impact!
When the chances came both early and late in the second half, he was ready to take them – his first goals since Boxing Day and that takes his tally to 10 for the campaign.
That will do his confidence a world of good.
Diogo Jota – 9
Found himself quite isolated in the central role in the first half, evidenced by just five completed passes.
But he’s a player who only needs a moment, or in this case a few, and he showcased that with his vision and timing to set up Nunez in the middle of the box, and then for his own goals.
He may frustrate at times, but when he needs to make an impact he so often does. That’s 11 goals and three assists for him now this season. His poaching instincts cannot be underestimated.
Cody Gakpo (on for Diaz, 63′) – 7 – Needed only six minutes to register an assist, the impact you want to see when coming from the bench.
Ryan Gravenberch (on for Elliott, 63′) – 7 – Didn’t see too much of the ball but was quick to win the ball back, winning four of his six contested duels. A lot better from him.
Owen Beck (on for Bradley, 83′) – 6 – His introduction means he can’t go back on loan for the second-half of the season and he looked at ease on his league debut for Liverpool.
Bobby Clark (on for Jones, 83′) – 6 – Bubbly and ready to drive forward.
Kaide Gordon (on for Jota, 94′) – N/A
Subs not used: Kelleher, Adrian, Quansah, McConnell
Jurgen Klopp – 9
There was trepidation from some over how Liverpool would perform after an extended break against a Bournemouth side in form and full of confidence.
The start was slow and sluggish, as perhaps anticipated, but his side came out after half time with renewed intent, and from then on they did not look back.
It was a tricky fixture when you also factored in the conditions, but the Reds safely collected all three points to restore their five-point lead at the top of the table.