Bournemouth 1-0 Liverpool: Salah misses penalty in shock loss

Bournemouth 1-0 Liverpool: Cherries move out of the relegation zone as they cause a HUGE upset to dent the Reds’ top-four hopes… with Mo Salah missing a woeful penalty for the visitors

  • Liverpool were awarded a penalty with 23 minutes to play but Mohamed Salah missed the target from 12 yards
  • The spot-kick was awarded via a VAR check after Diogo Jota’s header struck the arm of Adam Smith  
  • Bournemouth grabbed much needed win following a first half strike from Philip Billing at the Vitality Stadium

Mohamed Salah hopped, skipped and began to scuttle on his way. It had been almost a year since a Liverpool player had the chance to perform such a routine but how needed this moment was.

Liverpool had not been awarded a penalty in the Premier League since April 2, 2022 but in the 68th minute of this vital fixture at the Vitality Stadium, the wait came to an end. Who better than Salah, fresh from creating club history, to take responsibility with his team trailing?

Some may try to put a lack of practice down to what followed but the Egyptian’s grimace and frantic headshaking told its own story. Salah, the man who rarely fluffs his lines, somehow contrived to blaze wide from 12 yards. It would turn out to be a miss with huge consequences.

For Liverpool, it meant the opportunity to momentarily jump into the top four was squandered and, going forwards, it might be decisive in their pursuit of a Champions League place. This was a fixture they would have envisaged winning but, instead, they got nothing – and deservedly so.

We can concentrate on their fallibilities in due course but what an outcome this was for Bournemouth. How easy it would have been for them to fold after what happened at Arsenal seven days ago and how intimidated they could have been after being blitzed 9-0 at Anfield in August.

Mohamed Salah reacts after missing the chance to equalise with a penalty for Liverpool in their 1-0 defeat at Bournemouth

Salah blasted his spot-kick wide across goal aiming for the top corner despite sending goalkeeper Neto the wrong way

Liverpool were awarded a penalty with 23 minutes to play via VAR when Diogo Jota’s header struck Adam Smith’s left arm

But, instead, Gary O’Neill coaxed a massive effort from his team, full of concentration, determination and perspiration. They had warranted the fortune that came their way when Salah missed but, more than anything, they were ferocious in chiselling out three enormous points.

Plenty will expect Bournemouth to return to the Championship in May but this triumph, against all expectations, will have had the added impact of disheartening rivals who would have looked at this weekend as being potentially pivotal. Bournemouth will not give up this fight.

Liverpool started with the zip you anticipated being present, six days on from those seven unanswered goals against Manchester United, and they seemed so in control of the situation that you anticipated it would be a question of when, not if, they would find a way through.

A lead almost arrived in the sixth minute when a thumping header from Virgil van Dijk appeared destined for the top corner until Jefferson Lerma intervened, diverting the danger; Liverpool were persistent and Neto, Bournemouth’s keeper, saved well from Andy Robertson moments later.

Philip Billing of Bournemouth celebrates with Dango Ouattara after opening the scoring against Liverpool at the Vitality

The attacking midfielder tucked home from close range following an excellent move down the right from the Cherries

Cody Gakpo (right) had a goal correctly ruled out in the first half for offside after he fired past Neto in the Bournemouth goal

Virgil van Dijk wasted an excellent opportunity to grab an equaliser for Liverpool after heading wide a cross into the box

Neto of Bournemouth punches the ball clear as Liverpool tried in vain to grab an equaliser on the south coast

One of the symptoms of this unpredictable campaign, though, has been Liverpool’s ability to lower their intensity – become overconfident, almost – and allow teams they should be dispatching the opportunity to wriggle back into contention and then cause problems of their own. 


BOURNEMOUTH (4-4-1-1): Neto 7: Smith 7 (Fredericks 80mins), Stephens 7, Sensei 7, Kelly 7: Ouattara 8, Lerma 7 (Cook 80mins), Billing 7.5 (Christie 69mins), Anthony 7 (Vina 88mins): Rothwell 6.5: Solanke 6.5 (Semenyo 88mins)

Subs not used: Travers (GK), Mepham, Brooks, Moore

Goal – Billing (28)

Booked – Anthony

Manager – Gary O’Neill 7

LIVERPOOL (4-3-3): Alisson 6: Alexander-Arnold 5 (Milner 65mins 6), Van Dijk 6, Konate 5, Robertson 7: Elliott 5 (Jota 46mins 6), Fabinho 5 (Henderson 65mins 6), Bajcetic 6 (Carvalho 88mins): Salah 5, Gakpo 5, Nunez 5 (Firmino 65mins 6)

Subs not used: Adrian (GK), Tsimikas, Arthur, Matip

Booked – Konate

Manager – Jurgen Klopp 5

Referee – J Brooks 6

Bournemouth, understandably ginger after the bruising manner of their defeat at Arsenal, spotted a way back in down their right side, through the pace of Dango Ouattara, the young speedy forward from Burkina Faso.

The question, though, was whether they could spring Liverpool’s high line.

There were a succession of flags stopping them in their tracks but, in the 28th minute, the hosts got their timing just right and Ouattara skipped onto a ball that enabled him to zoom away from Van Dijk, who momentarily lost his footing.

With space to pick out a cross, Ouattara squared and the impressive Phillip Billing was able to bundle in from close range.

In this genteel little stadium, the reaction was as close to bedlam as you are going to get, a mixture of joy and disbelief on the faces of locals.

Klopp, by contrast, had gone volcanic. It was the first time they had conceded in 497 Premier League minutes, stretching back to February 4, and the German was livid at how easy it had been, waving his arms and hollering furiously at his midfield; his blazing eyes added another layer of opprobrium.

And, from there, they could never get back on an even keel.

Bournemouth got to half-time without conceding any chances and even when Klopp changed things in the second period, they stood firm when it mattered.

Neto made a terrific save from Diogo Jota, Ibou Konate squandered a headed opportunity and, in the final throes, Cody Gakpo blasted over the bar after Alisson Becker had hoisted one desperate last ball forward.

The defeat is a huge blow for Jurgen Klopp (left) and his side who missed out on the chance to climb into the top four

It marks another woeful result away from home for Liverpool less than a week after thrashing Manchester United 7-0

But victory was a vital one for Bournemouth as the result took them off the bottom and into 16th ahead of the 3pm matches

None of those misses, however, were comparable to the one from Salah, the penalty awarded after VAR deemed that Adam Smith had raised an arm to block a Jota header.

He was the first Liverpool player to leave the pitch at the final whistle, stopping only briefly to agree to a request from Jaidon Anthony to get his shirt in the tunnel afterwards.

Really, Salah would have wanted to bury his face in it after a day to forget. Bournemouth, by contrast, will not complain one iota.

In the frantic, unforgiving world of the Premier League, you must take every opening that comes your way. They did. Liverpool, much to Klopp’s dismay, didn’t.

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