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Liverpool 2 Bournemouth 1 (Mar 7 2020)

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Report by
Dave Usher

 

Back on track then. Kind of. It wasn’t vintage by any means but perhaps it was unrealistic to just expect the lads to go from horrible to brilliant in the space of a few days. Maybe the return to peak form is going to be a more gradual process? 

 

This was miles better than Watford and considerably better than Chelsea too. Granted, that’s a low bar, but still, improvement is improvement and this was a step in the right direction. Not the giant leap we wanted, but it’s a start.

 

We’ll need to step it up considerably if we’re to beat Atletico but you could see by Klopp’s reaction at full time just how important he felt this win was. He even brought back the triple fist pump. And he did it TWICE.

 

So yeah, we can play much better than this but the three points are most welcome as it nips in the bud some of the absolute bollocks being spouted about us after a few bad results. We went from being “the greatest team ever” to “not being as good as everyone thinks” just because we lost to Watford. I’m not even exaggerating. That debate was taking place in the media. “Maybe they aren’t that special” just because we lost a game.

 

So we weren’t able to emulate Arsenal’s “Invincibles” but this team already has more points and more wins than they managed, and we’re only at the start of March. This win set a new club (and top flight) record of 22 straight home wins. That’s incredible.

 

Yet it would seem that the lads have become victims of their own high standards. Talk that just winning the league isn’t enough and they need to do it with a record points tally and by retaining the Champions League or the season would be ‘disappointing’. The world’s gone fucking mad.

 

I sort of understand the sentiment a little bit, because if we were to lose every game between now and May but won the title because City also dropped points, then yeah I’d be disappointed to some degree. But the season would still be a roaring success because we’d have ended the 30 year wait. Being disappointed with ‘how’ we won the title is something I’m sure we’d get over pretty quickly!

 

The players are obviously aware of the talk because Virgil commented on it this week. I imagine they’re pretty baffled by it really, and rightly so. We’ve lost three of four but to add context to that, one of the defeats is only half time and one of them was with an under strength line up in a competition that frankly, if we’re being honest, Klopp really doesn’t give a toss about.

 

So the Watford defeat is the only one that really counts as a genuine loss. It was a bad one and it was humbling, but we’ve played 29 league games, won 27 of them, had one draw and only suffered one defeat. So you can take you “maybe they aren’t that special” talk and stick it right up your hoop. No team plays their best football for an entire season, which is why Arsenal are the ones to go through a season unbeaten (and even they had a million draws). Form comes and goes and recently it's deserted us, but Watford are the only opponent that has been able to take advantage of us being below par.

 

We’ve got a 25 point lead over Man City in second. TWENTY FIVE FUCKING POINTS. Imagine if someone told you back in August that as we hit the beginning of March we’d be 25 points clear of City and would have won NINE more games than them. It’s beyond all of our wildest dreams.

 

Once again we saw why the talk of a weak league is an absolute steaming fucking pile of Zlatan. I’ll say once more, it’s really fucking hard winning games in this league because the teams at the bottom are capable of beating anyone. Norwich have beaten some of the big boys, Watford beat us and some of the other sides down there like West Ham and now Bournemouth have given us really tough games as well. Brighton at Anfield was hard too.

 

We’re dominating without being that dominant, if that makes sense. We’re running away with it points wise but it’s not as though we’re smashing everyone all over the place. If winning games in this league was so easy, then why isn’t anyone else other than us doing it?

 

 

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I thought the Ox was motm, tbh!

 

And I think you underestimate Arsenal's points total a tad (think they drew 12 games). But the crowd was good, especially early on and when we were behind.

 

Just warming up for Atletico.

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I'd play Ox on Wednesday. He's the only player we have that can both score from 30 yards or knock it passed the defender and run in on goal. It gives us another attacking dimension and it feels like we need one at the moment. He drags two players central to try and stop him getting a shot off, which creates space elsewhere.

 

I too have a feeling that Bobby will provide when we really need him to!

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I was at a football gala with my girl on Saturday morning and got back in the car to come home just after they’d scored the opener, and the atmosphere sounded ok first half.

 

Immediately after the break it sounded eerily quiet, but that’s the way with these army matches pretty much all of the time.

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I, too, thought Ox did well. We seemed very slow and ponderous at times, Ox definately helped with trying to up the tempo and actually make us seem interested in attacking.

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Should we loose the last 9 games , we would still win the league. We won’t do it, fans would not enjoy it, but somehow that would  be funny and evidence of our domination.

 

I think Hendo will start because we need his energy and leadership, and quality obviously. And when he runs out of gas, Milner will get in, to provide experience and distance.

 

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Thought the OX played well.

He came off in the 84th min which is the longest he's managed all season

We deffo need a Werner or similar coming in this summer to freshen the forward line up. A decent LB understudy would be good, too

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Bournemouth are very average especially defensively yet we still struggled to create a host of chances. When we did open them up and got behind them, our cut backs as usual never seem to find a runner. Going back to the last 2 seasons, our decision making and judgement of passes on the break and high up the pitch were phenomenal,telepathic - yet with the same 3 forwards, they play like strangers now. Lost count of the number of dire passes and misplaced balls between them - Sadio gets an assist for the 1st goal but it was a calamitous pass yards behind Salah who did really well to turn and squeeze the ball through the defender's legs into the corner. Salah reciprocated by murdering a couple of opportunities on the break with ill-timed, wayward passes while Bobby's flicks & tricks are fooling no-one except his comrades nowadays. I can't explain it and still imagine each week that the 3 of them will suddenly click again and we will pulverise a few defences - Atletico and Everton would be a good time to start!!

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2 hours ago, alles ist gut said:

Top, top “only without the winning” analysis there, Dave.

That was my favourite bit!

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I too shout myself ragged. Last time (West Ham) was the second time in the last three visits I've been asked to be quieter by someone in front of me. Truly. And to make matters worse, both were fair enough. 

 

I really think we're lacking strength in depth. As you say, the midfield in particular has been a bit cack, more so since we lost Hendo, but other than Milly, I'm never bowled over by any of our replacements. 

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50 minutes ago, sir roger said:

Who did Billy Boy call a jabroni ?

 

16 minutes ago, dave u said:

Dan Gosling.

It'd be more widely known, if the ITV broadcast of Troilus and Cressida not been interrupted by an ad break.

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