Liverpool 2-1 Bournemouth: 3 Standout performers from the Reds' victory | Premier League 2019-20
- The best players as Liverpool beat Bournemouth at Anfield to edge closer to the league title.
Normal service was resumed at Anfield as Liverpool saw off a resilient Bournemouth team to get back to winning ways. The Reds defeated the Cherries 2-1 in a game which could easily have had more goals from either side, and the result sees the home team restore a mammoth 25-point lead at the top of the table. Jurgen Klopp's men now need just three victories to end the club's longstanding league title drought.
Bournemouth scored early and gave themselves a chance at the impossible, but the lead was lost when a mistake from Jack Simpson saw Sadio Mane steal the ball and square it to Mohamed Salah, who scored.
The Senegalese forward scored in the same half to give his team the lead, and it ended that way as Liverpool picked up all three points. It was a resilient effort by Bournemouth, and Eddie Howe's men can go away proud yet forlorn at how the match ended.
Here are the three standout performers from this game -
#3 Mohamed Salah
Mohamed Salah's goal today put him above Luis Suarez in the club's all-time Premier League goalscoring charts - the forward netted his 70th goal for the club in just 100 games, surpassing Suarez's tally of 69 goals in 110 appearances.
The Egyptian King has been a phenomenal player for Klopp ever since he arrived at Anfield a few years ago, and his legend grew further today. It was a great showing by the former Chelsea player as he was his usual, lively self throughout the game. Salah played a little deeper than he usually does when Liverpool conceded their first, but his pace and power allowed the forward to make those deadly runs which troubled the Bournemouth defence throughout. Despite Callum Wilson's early goal, the forward fell off in attacks throughout the game and was not nearly as effective as his counterpart.
The star striker scored Liverpool's equaliser thanks to a great finish after a slightly misplaced pass from Mane. His low drive beat the brilliant Aaron Ramsdale, and that put his team on track for the win. Even apart from the goal, Salah was consistent throughout the final third with two shots on target and three key passes - he could have easily had a couple of assists had his teammates finished better. The former PFA Player of the Year winner will look to continue his consistent run for the Reds in the games to come.
#2 Virgil van Dijk
It was a strong showing by fellow Dutch international Nathan Ake, but Virgil van Dijk reminded the world yet again why he is the best defender in the world with his performance today. The former Southampton player has been so consistently good for the club that his performances are often not appreciated enough, but they should be.
The goal Liverpool conceded was early and controversial, but apart from that, nothing got past van Dijk for the most part of the game. The defender had two clearances and won two aerial duels as he kept the Bournemouth attack at bay, and he had two key moments in the game which helped Liverpool come away with the victory.
The Dutch international was involved in Liverpool's winner as he played a sumptuous through ball for Mane, who collected it calmly and finished past Ramsdale for the eventual winner of the game. During the final 20 minutes of the game, van Dijk also stopped a Bournemouth counter-attack by winning the ball high up the pitch on two occasions and calmly playing it out of trouble. He had two key passes today, and also had one shot on target as he was a regular set-piece threat for the home team.
After an average showing in the past two games, it was a strong bounce back from the towering defender and he reminded us exactly why he is the best defender in the world.
#1 Sadio Mane
We're starting to lose count of how many important goals Sadio Mane has scored this season for Liverpool. The Senegalese international was in top form today after delivering a much-needed man of the match performance in front of a raucous home crowd.
The current African Player of the Year set up fellow African Salah for his first goal after smartly winning the ball from Simpson. A few minutes later, the forward collected a brilliant pass from van Dijk and kept his nerves as he finished past Ramsdale, who had a great showing tonight. This season, there has been no other player who has stepped up in more big moments for Liverpool than Mane, and tonight was the continuation of that run.
Throughout the game, Mane's pace and explosiveness alongside his dribbling prowess troubled the Bournemouth back four. The former Southampton player completed three dribbles, created two big chances, and scored the winner as he led his team one step closer to the Premier League title. No one was fouled more in the game, as Mane's sleek touches and bursts of speed were too much for the opposition to handle.
It was a great overall game from the brilliant winger, and Klopp will be hoping that this form continues against Atletico Madrid at Anfield next week.Published 07 Mar 2020, 20:33 IST