Sadio Mane and James Milner starred while Fabinho’s worrying run of form continued as Liverpool came back from behind to beat Bournemouth 2-1.
Liverpool were pegged back quite early in the game as Callum Wilson tapped home from close range, although there was a hint of foul in the build-up which the referee and the VAR did not deem worthy of penalising. But, the Reds struck back soon enough, with Mohamed Salah finding the net after Sadio Mane had forced an error from Jack Simpson.
Mane then went on to put Liverpool ahead with a fine finish after getting on the end of a Virgil van Dijk pass. Ryan Fraser came close to equalising for Bournemouth in the second half, but was denied by a brilliant goal-line clearance by James Milner, as Liverpool returned to winning ways and took a step closer to their maiden Premier League title.
22 consecutive home league wins – a new top-flight record.
❤️ Anfield ❤️ pic.twitter.com/xRJAUk7g0o
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) March 7, 2020
Here’s how we rated the performances of Jurgen Klopp’s men at Anfield on Saturday.
Starting in place of the injured Alisson Becker, Adrian did not look convincing enough again, but did manage to parry a Nathan Ake header over the bar and saved another effort from Junior Stanislas, albeit looked quite nervy on both occasions. Not called upon a lot in the second half.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 6.5/10
Back into the starting XI after being rested in midweek, the England international offered a constant outlet down the right-hand side like he always does. But, his end product was hit and miss at times. Defensively, looked suspect on the odd occasion, but improved as the game wore on.
Joe Gomez: 6/10
Was beaten by Callum Wilson in the lead-up to Bournemouth’s opener, although the nudge on the back by the Cherries’ striker did not make it easy. Fairly solid from thereon, despite there being moments when he did not look all too comfortable against the visitors’ physical approach.
Virgil van Dijk: 7/10
After a couple of dodgy displays, the towering Dutchman looked much better on Saturday afternoon. Was strong in the air and sharp with his distribution. Got the assist for Mane’s goal with a fine pass after winning back possession with a clever interception. Not his best performance, but a major improvement from the last two matches.
James Milner: 8/10
Making his first start since January with Klopp opting to rest Andrew Robertson, the Liverpool skipper on the day led from the front with an energetic display. Milner was always a presence going forward while being reliable at the back, although his lack of pace was an issue at times.
James Milner vs. Bournemouth
86% Pass accuracy
2/4 Accurate long passes
1/1 Shot on target
7/5 Ground duels won
2/2 Aerial duels won
2/2 Tackles won
4 Clearances (1 goal line)
Mr consistent, dependable, iron man; call him what you like, Milner's a bloody good football player. pic.twitter.com/4kui0zDBfr
— The Tactical Times (@Tactical_Times) March 7, 2020
Missed a good chance to score in the first half after being set up by Salah. The moment of the game, though, saw Milner pull off a vital goal-line clearance to deny the Cherries a certain equaliser.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: 6.5/10
Back into the lineup after being rested in midweek, the Englishman put in a positive performance from midfield. Always looked to drive Liverpool forward when in possession, while his work-rate off the ball was impressive as ever. However, not everything he tried came off on the day.
The Brazilian has struggled to hit his best form in recent matches and it was no different on Saturday against Bournemouth. Fabinho’s positioning was suspect at times, while he looked leggy and clumsy on occasions, especially in the build-up to Ryan Fraser’s chance that almost led to an equalizer. Tidy in possession, but Liverpool can’t wait for Jordan Henderson to return.
Georginio Wijnaldum: 6.5/10
As always, another energy-filled, workhorse like performance from the Netherlands international. Looked to push forward each time he was on the ball while showing great intent to win the ball back when not in possession. Solid, if not spectacular.
Mohamed Salah: 7/10
Making his 100th appearance for Liverpool, the Egyptian posed a threat with his pace each time Liverpool got forward, but the final ball was missing on occasions while he lost possession quite a few times as well. Did brilliantly to control Mane’s pass and score the opener for the Reds. Created a chance for Milner in the first period and continued to cause problems after the break.
Roberto Firmino: 5/10
The Brazilian’s recent slump continued on Saturday afternoon as he struggled to make a positive impact on the proceedings. Dropped deeper than usual in search of possession, but couldn’t make the most of it when he did get on the ball. Spurned a great chance to score his first goal of the season at Anfield late on, firing well over the bar from close range.
Sadio Mane: 8/10
Looked lively from the get-go, having been moved back to the left flank after the midweek game. Pressed Jack Simpson to regain possession and then set Salah up for the opening goal, although his pass was slightly wayward. Put Liverpool ahead with a ruthless finish soon after and came close to scoring again in the second period, but his effort hit the woodwork. Difference-maker.
Adam Lallana: N/A
Replaced Oxlade-Chamberlain with less than ten minutes left.
Divock Origi: N/A
Stoppage time substitute for Firmino.