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Thursday, May 30, 2024

No longer in seventh heaven … Reality bites as Liverpool come crashing back down to earth

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Bournemouth — Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah missed a second-half penalty as his side fell to a 1-0 defeat away at Bournemouth, with Philip Billing’s goal lifting the south-coast side off the bottom of the Premier League table and out of the relegation zone.

The win in the first league game of the weekend sees the Cherries rise from last spot to 16th in the table on 24 points, while Liverpool languish in fifth on 42 points after wasting a chance to close the three-point gap to fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur.

Liverpool started well, with Mohamed Salah scuffing an early shot goalwards and Bournemouth defender Jefferson Lerma clearing a Virgil van Dijk header off the line. But as so often before this season, the wheels quickly came off for the visitors.

Bournemouth’s Dango Outtara fired wide after a one-on-one with Alisson but the Reds didn’t heed that warning, and they paid for it in the 28th minute when he outpaced Van Dijk and squared the ball for Billing, who steered it home.

Diogo Jota came on for Harvey Elliot at halftime and he won a penalty for Liverpool as his goal-bound header struck the arm of Adam Smith, but to the horror of the travelling fans Salah blasted his spot kick high and wide of the goal.

That miss in the 70th minute seemed to deflate Liverpool entirely, and they did precious little to threaten the Bournemouth goal, and the home fans cheered every tackle and clearance as their side held on for a much-needed win.


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