After losing 9-0 at Liverpool earlier this season, Bournemouth got some payback in the Premier League on Saturday.
Bournemouth halted Liverpool’s recent momentum with a 1-0 home win to boost its hopes of staving off relegation and deal a blow to the visitors’ hopes of earning a top-four spot.
Philip Billing scored the only goal in the 28th minute after being teed up in the box by Dango Ouattara and Bournemouth managed to contain a Liverpool attack that had looked rampant in a stunning 7-0 win over Manchester United last weekend.
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Mohamed Salah missed a penalty for Liverpool in the 70th, sending his effort wide of the goal, while Virgil van Dijk had an early header cleared off the line. But it was a surprisingly tame performance from a Liverpool team that had looked like it was finally getting back to its best after four wins and a draw in its last five games.
That run that had seen Jurgen Klopp’s team move up to fifth place in the standings after a dismal first half of the season, and a win over Bournemouth would have put Liverpool above fourth-place Tottenham on goal difference ahead of Spurs’ game at Nottingham Forest later.
Bournemouth started the day in last place but the win lifted it provisionally up to 16th in the tight battle against relegation. The team was coming off a 3-2 loss at leader Arsenal last weekend, when it led 2-0 but conceded the last goal in the seventh minute of stoppage time, but seemed to have shaken off both that defeat and the 9-0 drubbing at Anfield in August — which equaled the biggest winning margin in Premier League history.
Ouattara had already missed a chance to give Bournemouth the lead when the Burkina Faso winger turned provider instead to set up the opening goal. He shrugged off a challenge from Van Dijk to break into the right side of the area before crossing for Billing to turn home.
Liverpool then got a penalty after Diogo Jota’s header struck the arm of Adam Smith, with referee John Brooks pointing to the spot after consulting his pitchside monitor.
But Salah blazed his spot kick wide of the post, the first time the Egypt forward has missed the target from the penalty spot in the Premier League.
“If we score there, the game could turn,” Klopp said. “That doesn’t make the performance better, but could change the result at least. (Salah) scores a lot of goals and now he missed a penalty, that’s life.”
Liverpool forward Cody Gakpo had the team’s last chance for an equalizer in stoppage time but missed the target after a long ball into the box from goalkeeper Alisson.
It was only Bournemouth’s second league win in its last 10 games.