The Good, Bad and Ugly: Liverpool was beaten by Bournemouth in poor fashion, with Mohamed Salah missing a penalty and Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konaté lethargic.
VITALITY STADIUM, BOURNEMOUTH // It just never looked like Liverpool was going to find the breakthrough that it needed. Even Mohamed Salah could not score from the penalty spot.
Jürgen Klopp’s side, having beaten Manchester United 7-0 last weekend, had seemingly used up its finishing ability. As soon as it went 1-0 down, the result seemed nailed on. And so it proved.
Here are the three moments Liverpool.com picked out from the Reds’ disappointing defeat against Bournemouth, in what was something of a repeat of the loss at Nottingham Forest earlier in the campaign.
Not for the first time this season, there is not loads that can be picked out as being ‘good’. Fábio Carvalho made a rare appearance but barely touched the ball. Arthur Melo was on the bench but was never likely to actually set foot on the pitch.
Alisson Becker was good and could do nothing with the goal, having done well to put off Dango Ouattara with an early chance that should have served as a warning sign for Liverpool’s backline.
The opening few minutes were good, but they did not bring the goal that would have changed the game.
Had Liverpool gone in front, they would have won. But even that is a damning statement: they went one down, and never looked like recovering. That has to be a big concern.
Plenty of players were poor. Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konaté have rightly been hailed as Liverpool’s number one center-back partnership, but neither player was on their game here.
Van Dijk was lethargic and Konaté tried and failed to play offside on the goal, later leaving Trent Alexander-Arnold with two to mark in the middle. At the heart of the defense, both players are usually so reliable; Liverpool needs both to change significantly before Wednesday night to avoid another Real Madrid hammering.
Alexander-Arnold himself was barely any better, with the entire defense looking startled — as if it didn’t think this game would be a challenge.
The issues start in midfield, and maybe with new players in there, the rest of the team will sort itself out and things will consistency look better.
That, though, will not come until at least the summer.
As soon as Mohamed Salah told Steven Gerrard this week that he hated taking penalties, it felt inevitable that Liverpool would win its first spot kick of the season.
Even before Salah’s conversation on LFCTV, the stat was doing the rounds that Liverpool had gone so long without having a penalty, to the point that Klopp was asked directly what he felt about it before Manchester United.
Liverpool did not need a penalty in that game, but did here. Unfortunately, Salah took what is probably the worst penalty kick of his career.
“I always hate pens. I don’t like the feeling,” Salah admitted during the chat with Gerrard. He was certainly right about that here.
“If James Milner is on the pitch are you still the penalty taker, yeah?” Gerrard then asked.
“Yeah, we spoke together and he told me [that I can take them],” Salah confirmed.
Salah will no doubt take the next one as well, and he will back himself to score it. But for now, this one feels like a costly poor kick just when things could have changed.