Mohamed Salah misses the penalty as Liverpool snap back to earth with Bournemouth defeat

Liverpool were brought back to earth when they lost at relegation-threatened Bournemouth just six days after their historic win over Manchester United.

Jurgen Klopp’s side humiliated their bitter rivals with a 7-0 win at Anfield last Sunday, but Philip Billing’s sixth goal of the season was enough for the cherries to secure a 1-0 victory to eject themselves from the Premier League solve.

Mohamed Salah fired a second-half penalty wide to round up a poor performance on a wet and windy south coast afternoon, with Liverpool missing a chance to finish in the top four ahead of the second leg of their Champions League game against Real Madrid .

Bournemouth were two goals clear of leaders Arsenal last week only to succumb to an injury-time winner, but their reaction here was admirable.

Gary O’Neil’s side have been buoyed by the return of David Brooks to a matchday squad for the first time in 525 days. The Wales midfielder was diagnosed with stage two Hodgkin lymphoma in October 2021.

Not surprisingly it was Liverpool who were on form and created the first opportunity of the afternoon when Virgil van Dijk headed in a corner only for the returning Jefferson Lerma to clear the line.

Bournemouth should have broken through the block when Dango Ouattara broke in at the back to cling to a Dominic Solanke pass before attempting to round Alisson, tightening the angle as he could only fire into the side netting.

Birthday boy Andrew Robertson forced a smart stop on Neto at the other end before Cody Gakpo turned a Darwin Nunez cross home only to be ruled offside.

Ouattara caused plenty of trouble for Liverpool’s defense and eventually it was the Burkina Faso winger who converted Bournemouth’s opener, shrugging off a challenge from Van Dijk before moving to Billing to go home.

Van Dijk should have done much better as Liverpool looked to equalize before the break but failed to make clean contact from a deep Robertson free-kick.

Former Liverpool striker Solanke overfired as the Cherries pressed for a second. Liverpool’s defense more closely resembled their effort in the 5-2 Champions League defeat by Real Madrid in the first leg of their round of 16 than the one that had kept five straight league clean sheets at the Vitality Stadium.

Klopp responded by sending the visitors early into the second half and introducing Diogo Jota in place of Harvey Elliott.

Jota was right in the action, his shot being blocked by Neto but chances weren’t free-flowing for the Reds and Klopp turned to his bench again when Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Roberto Firmino came on as substitutes after 65 minutes.

Milner was involved immediately, his cross headed in by Jota and hit Adam Smith’s arm, with referee John Brooks pointing to the spot after consulting his pitchside monitor.

Salah, usually so lethal from 12 yards out, smacked his penalty wide of the post while Bournemouth’s lead remained intact and substitute Ryan Christie stabbed Alisson in the palms as the hosts tried to extend their lead.

Gakpo blasted into the dying embers as Bournemouth clinched just a second win from their last 11 league games to ease some of the pressure on O’Neil, appointed after Liverpool’s 9-0 win over the Cherries earlier in the season.

That win was something of a false dawn for Klopp’s side and they are now hoping this defeat is a setback rather than the end of good form as their inconsistent campaign took another turn. Mohamed Salah misses the penalty as Liverpool snap back to earth with Bournemouth defeat

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