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Liverpool 3-0 AFC Bournemouth: 5 Hits and Flops | Premier League 2018-19

ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
10 Feb 2019, 10:38 IST

Goals from Wijnaldum (far left), Mane (far right) and Salah sealed all three points on this occasion
Goals from Wijnaldum (far left), Mane (far right) and Salah sealed all three points on this occasion

Liverpool restored their three-point gap ahead of defending champions Manchester City at the Premier League summit, with a comfortable 3-0 win over AFC Bournemouth

Goals from Sadio Mane, Georginio Wijnaldum and Mohamed Salah's 20th goal across all competitions this term ensured Jurgen Klopp's men returned to winning ways after a 1-1 draw away at West Ham on Monday evening. This result also marks the first time in 35 years that Bournemouth have lost eight successive away games, a statistic Eddie Howe will not like the look of.

With a tricky Champions League last-16 tie against Bayern Munich up next, as well as a rejuvenated Manchester United and the Merseyside Derby among their upcoming fixtures, the manner of the Reds' latest victory will provide a morale boost. 

Here's a look at five hits and flops then, as Liverpool recorded their 20th league win of the campaign in commanding style.


#5 Flop: Jordon Ibe

Ibe was ineffective against his former employers, dispossessed too often and failed to make a lasting impact
Ibe was ineffective against his former employers, dispossessed too often and failed to make a lasting impact

On another return to Merseyside for Jordon Ibe, it was a forgettable display for the 23-year-old. Despite making his first league start of 2019 alongside fullback Diego Rico, he flattered to deceive after a bright showing in the early exchanges and struggled to have a positive influence in attack. 

After teeing up Ryan Fraser early on, the Scotland international saw his effort saved by Alisson - that was as good as it got in truth for Ibe from a creative perspective. Ultimately, he tried to do too much against his former employers and that was reiterated by his match statistics: two completed dribbles, fouled once, dispossessed four times, three unsuccessful touches.

Only Sadio Mane (8) lost the ball more than Ibe's seven - though the Englishman was replaced near the hour mark. 

In games like these where half-chances and opportunities for sustained spells of possession are important, Ibe faltered. Replaced for a more direct goal threat in fellow ex-Red Dominic Solanke, the 21-year-old showed more going forward in half-an-hour compared to Ibe in twice the time. 

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He's got bonafide quality but has been unable to display that ability regularly enough, which is one of the main reasons why he's only played 422 Premier League minutes this term - compared to Fraser's 2,126 for example.

You can see what consistent minutes, invaluable experience and an improved squad role has done for Fraser, but Ibe needs to earn that opportunity and performances like these are a barometer of his stagnation in recent seasons. 

With less than 18 months left on his existing deal, it'll be interesting to see how he reacts after another disappointing display. For someone who was Bournemouth's club-record signing three years ago, he's not doing enough to justify an extension.

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