BOURNEMOUTH 1-2 LIVERPOOL
Liverpool came away from their travelling fixture to Bournemouth with three points. We’d met earlier in the season at Anfield already and now it was time to make the trip to their stadium, too.
Our manager had put out his strongest possible squad recently in the Europa League but for this fixture, we used a few less experienced (though still very talented) players as Klopp would rest the victorious and possibly very tired squad who had won against Borussia Dortmund recently. Lucas Leiva would go back to a role we’d seen him in earlier this season – central defender. Alongside him was Kolo Toure. There was also Connor Randall and Brad Smith at the back, while Kevin Stewart, Sheyi Ojo, Jordan Ibe and Joe Allen would all start in midfield.
Connor Randall and Danny Ward were both making their Premier League starting debuts. We’d seen them in the first team squad before but they definitely hadn’t been in a Premier League starting lineup. They both did well for our defence. Randall attempted tackling for every ball that was near him. No complaints about his performance, especially as the result was neither draw or defeat. He’d been strong enough to keep us from conceding any more than once and we’d score twice so that meant their single goal really didn’t matter so much.
Danny Ward was in control and a commanding force between the goalposts. He’d claim balls when he saw the opportunity, bravely enough to risk being injured at times.
Since earlier in the season, Adam Bogdan had performed quite badly – or perhaps not badly but certainly not “up to the high standard required of a Liverpool first team squad goalkeeper” (just being average isn’t good enough) and this was the starting point for Ward to start getting used in the squad, even if it was just as a substitute goalkeeper who was there for assistance if Mignolet needed to leave the pitch. Ward’s moved up from third choice (goalkeeper) to second choice (goalkeeper) and deservedly so.
Just as Randall had a part in our relatively tight defence which conceded less than our own players scored, Ward can receive the same praise for his contributions too. There may yet be a bigger role to play for him, in cup fixtures next season. He could be chosen for some less important games than Mignolet may not need to be used for. Remember the name “Ward” as you’re likely to see it on a lot of team sheets, even if he’s not chosen for the starting lineup.
Anyway, the first half seemed quite uneventful surprisingly with our defence being busier than our offense and there would be no goals for at least 40 minutes, though by the half time break Liverpool had scored twice. All the excitement for Reds came in the last 5 minutes of the first half.
Jordon Ibe was part of the leadup to our goals. Though he may not have gotten onto the score sheet, his contribution was still highly valued throughout the fixture.
Ibe would provide a pass for Sturridge, who’d try his luck but be denied by the Bournemouth goalkeeper. Firmino would soon after strike a left footed shot into the bottom right corner of the net to make it Bournemouth 0-1 Liverpool.
5 minutes later, the first half was about ready to end but Liverpool had plans to increase their lead once more first.
Jordon Ibe would put in a cross to Daniel Sturridge who this time could finish it before anyone else got a chance to score themselves. Sturridge headed coolly past the Bournemouth goalkeeper and into the bottom left corner of the net, making it Bournemouth 0-2 Liverpool.
The manager certainly could not have much to complain about as they sat in the dressing room at half time. His team were up by two goals and didn’t look like even drawing now. Reds fans were confident a 0-2 away win could happen, although it didn’t. It did in fact take Bournemouth a very long time to get their one goal as it would happen in the 93rd minute. They were even lucky that this much extra time was necessary to be played, had only two minutes been signalled for they may not have scored at all. It would be Joshua King who got the home side’s goal.
All in all, Liverpool just went out there and tried their best to fit together and work as a team, even if some of that team had not played together very much. The less experienced players got more experience and made sure we weren’t embarrassed at all by their performances or the result they managed to achieve. Our manager made some noticeable changes to the squad and we did very well, even with these changes made. Our squad has proven to be stronger than many expected, at various levels. The Academy needs a little mention as being part of what’s brought young talent through into our first team right now. The young lads made us proud.
Man Of The Match?
Jordon Ibe. He’d had a part in most attacks going on and assisted for our scoring moments. Bournemouth were overwhelmed by his threat every time he made an attacking play. He was dangerous for our opponents and helpful for his teammates. I’d like to see more of him this season, though competition for a spot in our starting lineups is quite tough and he may not feature as often as others in the midfield such as Joe Allen, James Milner, Emre Can or Adam Lallana. He’d surely deserve a spot on the substitute bench at least, though.
Liverpool now continue their brief spell of a few consecutive Premier League games and a Merseyside derby is due to be played at Anfield next. These are always entertaining, no matter who wins and bragging rights for the people of Liverpool go to the winners, whether they be Red or blue.
So, walk on with hope in your hearts, Anfield Family. You’ll Never Walk Alone.
[written by] Stuart Drewery.
I’m an Englishman (born and raised in Liverpool in the 80s). My whole family including my parents and grandparents were Liverpool fans so I was born into being a red.
I’ve seen Liverpool win the league (more than 25 years ago) and I’ve been 100% loyal and committed while supporting the Reds through all the good times AND the bad times since the 80s.