Liverpool extended their lead at the top of the Premier League, after overcoming a stubborn Bournemouth on a wet and windy south coast.
The last time Liverpool travelled to Bournemouth (in the Carabao Cup), the weather made an already tricky tie even harder, and the elements were once again proving difficult, with swirling winds and rain making free flowing football very difficult.
With the challenging conditions, and a well organised Bournemouth proving very hard to break down, it was little surprise that Liverpool were limited to long range efforts in the first half. It was also not surprising that the match reached half time goalless, despite Bournemouth making all the early running.
Jurgen Klopp was not a happy man at half time, and made several tactical tweaks, inlcuding moving Darwin Nunez into a more central position, so he could use his pace and physicallity to unsettle the Bournemouth defence. The changes worked almost instantly, as a lovely passing move saw Diogo Jota find Darwin Nunez on the edge of box, who coolly slotted in first time to send the travelling Liverpool fans wild. The relief on Nunez's face was clear for all to see, and his lovely finish made a mockery of the easier chances he has missed in recent weeks.
Liverpool grew in confidence after the goal, and although Bournemouth still posed a threat, it was the Reds who created the better chances, with Diogo Jota doubing the lead in the 70th minute. Jota was at it again nine minutes later, as Liverpool put the game beyond doubt. Both Jota's strikes showcased his natural finishing ability, and proved once again what an important player his is for Liverpool.
With eight minutes of added time, Liverpool went in search of further goals, and 93 minutes, Nunez slide in to claim his second of the match, to end a thoroughly satisfying night for Jurgen Klopp and his players.
No Salah, No Problem....
Much has been made of the players Liverpool are missing at the moment, but in the absense of Salah, Trent, Robertson and Szoboszlai, Liverpool's squad has stepped up to not only fill in the gaps, but propel the team to new heights.
Last season, the thought of losing four or five first team players would have been a nightmare, but this season, the emergence of new talents from the Academy, together with a more experienced and rounded squad, means Klopp can rotate players, and cover for injuries, without comprimising the teams style of play.
No where is this more evident than in defence, where Jarrel Quansah, and now Conor Bradley, have slotted seemlessly into the first team, making light of the loss of Joel Matip and Alexander-Arnold. Liverpool's forward players have also come to the party, scoring two against Arsenal, two against Fulham and now four agianst Bournemouth, in a period where Salah's absense (due to the AFCON) was supposed to derail our season.
Liverpool travel to Fulham on Wednesday, for the second leg of the Carabao Cup Semi Final, carrying a 2 - 1 lead, knowing they are just 90 minutes away from another Wembley appearance. In this form, no-one would bet against them.
Sky Sports Man of the Match : Diogo Jota
BBC Man of the Match : Alexis Mac allister
BBC Public vote Man of the Match : Diogo Jota
Liverpoolfc.com Man of the Match : Diogo Jota
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... About The Author ...
Peter Farrell - Editor and Chief Article Writer, LFC - Back On Our Perch
Articles written by Author :: 352
Lifelong fan with a passion for all things Liverpool. First memory of football is watching John Barnes score a dramatic last minute equaliser in the FA Cup when he was 4. Feels lucky to be a part of the 'Klopp' era.
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