Monday, 5 December 2016

Fraser's stampede clips Klopp's title charge 4-3

Match Report
AFCB 4 v 3 Liverpool
4 December 2016
Attendance: 11,183
Liverpool fans unfurl their flags.
AFCB are not supposed to go and beat title contenders are they? Liverpool were unbeaten in their last 11 Premier League games. Well, strike that. While AFCB had not beaten Liverpool in nine attempts since 1927, there had to be a first time and this was a sensational second half comeback, after Liverpool had dominated the first half and had gone into the beak 0-2 up. Mané and Origi had put Liverpool in command after two balls over the top had caught Artur Boruc out, but the game started to change when Ryan Fraser came on for an injured Junior Stanislas on 55 minutes. He won a penalty with his pace running at James Milner and Callum Wilson cut the deficit to 1-2. Although Liverpool came racing back with a sublime top corner finish from Emre Can, nobody would have expected AFCB to play with such attacking flare that they would threaten to take all three points. But once Ryan Fraser scored his first ever Premier League goal and Steve Cook turned sharply, before hitting his venomous strike, the Cherries were all level at 3-3 and in added time a further right footed shot from Steve Cook had Karius spilling the ball like a hot potato and Nathan Aké was on hand to scramble the ball home for an amazing Bournemouth winner!
Francis and Henderson in the middle.
A minute's silence for the Chapecoense team.
Brad Smith and Adam Federici were the unlucky players to be dropped form AFCB's starting line up, but that allowed Jack Wilshere and Artur Boruc to return to the side. What fans did not expect was to see Adam Smith go to left back. Stanislas had lined up on the left wing and Josh King on the right for AFCB. AFCB had relaid a new pitch and we had new dugouts to admire as well.
The teams had a fabulous new pitch to play on.
Liverpool also made a couple of changes with Lucas and Origi making starts instead of Matip and Coutinho.

There are more pictures on Match Day Gallery.

The conditions looked great with a brand new pitch and afternoon sun but Mané had to shield his eyes from the sunlight as an early ball flew in his direction on the half way line. Firmino saw his shot blocked by Steve Cook, but Liverpool had AFCB stretched from the start. Aké was getting his tackles in, but Milner was steaming down the left wing and easily getting a cross in that Steve Cook put his head to. Smith, Gosling and Wilshere were chasing shirts and not getting near to the Liverpool players and when Arter caught up with Emre Can all he could do was foul him.

Clyne then played a curled ball in from the right that Origi looked certain to score from, but the ball sped off his foot and wide of AFCB's goal from six yards! What followed was a series of four corners for the Merseysiders, from the right side, who laid siege to Artur Boruc's goal. Just to ensure there was not something wrong with the other side of the pitch they tried one from the left side too. 

Even when King won a free kick from Milner, the ball came straight back with Firmino having a blocked shot. Possession was already at 65 per cent for the fluorescent yellow shirts and the breakthrough came from a hopefully lofted ball from Emre Can over the top for Mané to run on to in a sprint with Aké, while Boruc was slow to come out. Mané stabbed the ball past Boruc and it was 0-1 on 20 minutes.


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Just as it couldn't get much worst, Harry Arter lost the ball and Mané nipped in to take the ball before Henderson and Can played in Origi down the right. Smith was unable to get back and Boruc came racing out of his goal. While Origi rounded Boruc it seemed too difficult an angle for him to score, but he bent his shot and found the bottom corner of the goal with Steve Cook unable to get in the ball's way. AFCB were 0-2 down and there was just 23 minutes gone. I was fearing the worst.

The home crowd were not exactly happy about the way the Cherries were playing and they weren't slow in letting the players know. Wilson almost found a way round Clyne, but slipped just when he might have had a sight of goal.

Even when Wilshere won a corner for the Cherries and Natahn Aké seemed to have had his legs taken by Firmino from under him there was no resulting penalty. From our angle it looked a pen all day long. Although Josh King saw an effort scrambled away for a corner, AFCB were not finding any way into this game. But a 0-2 deficit at half time seemed a reasonable escape, as it could have been more if Liverpool had found more of a cutting-edge.
All over?
The players troop off at half time.
Second half
We all hoped that Eddie would do something about Adam Smith at half time as he was being ripped apart at left back, and sure enough there was a change. Ibe came on for Josh King who had looked a bit flat, while Nathan Aké moved over to left back and Smith went to right back, leaving Francis and Cook as centre backs. Straight away the side looked more balanced and Jordan Ibe was holding off players well, which started to get AFCB into the game.

AFCB fans had started to get fed up of referee Robert Madley who had not played advantage at times, while now booking Simon Francis for up ending Milner. There was a big cheer though when Henderson was yellow carded for fouling Junior Stanislas. The bad news though was that Stanislas could not continue with his injured ankle. Ryan Francis was hurried on and took his place.

It was a game changing substitution. Within minutes Fraser was running at James Milner in Liverpool's box and the wee man was chopped down and won a penalty. It was an easy decision for Madley to give. Wilson stepped up and slotted home to the keeper's right. Klopp was given a talking to by the referee, but on we went with just a bit more hope. Boruc was soon called into action to smother the ball at the feet of Origi.

AFCB were trying to feed Fraser the ball whenever they could now. Yet, Liverpool were not done and with Firmino speeding down the right he pulled a ball back for Emre Can on the edge of the box and his first time shot rifled the ball into the top right corner, past Artur Boruc with a flash - 1-3.

That was that then. Lucas ran back for the restart clenching his fists as if it was all over - points in the bag. What unfolded next was probably AFCB's best 30 minutes of any game it has had in the Premier League. 

It was hardly the most inspiring of efforts at first from Harry Arter as he ballooned shot well over the bar. But when Lallana had taken to the field to replace Mané, there was a fire that suddenly roused the AFCB players. Callum Wilson finally started to run at defenders and found Ryan Fraser just inside the box where he blazed a powerful shot that Karius did well to tip over.

Liverpool also came close though when Milner won a corner against Francis and the corner kick was almost taken over the goal line by Boruc as he stepped backwards! The thickness of the ball's skin was just about all that saved AFCB from going 1-4 down.

Gosling was then replaced by Benike Afobe to add a further striker for Liverpool to have to worry about. The impact was immediate with Wilson driven wide, but still able to spot Afobe rushing in. While Benik's touch bounced the ball away from him it fell kindly to Ryan Fraser on the 18 yard line. A quick step inside the defender and the Scottish winger had scored his first goal in the Premier League, beating Karius with power 2-3. AFCB were back in this and the home crowd knew it with 16 minutes to go.

The noise suddenly ramped up several notches. AFCB fans were giving their team every bit of belief they had. They did not have to wait among for another goal. Lovren fouled the ever lively Ryan Fraser and Fraser sped down the right to deliver a cross a bit behind Steve Cook. Still, Steve put in a swift turn brought the ball down and this incredible centre back smashed his volley into the goal to make it 3-3 - unbelievable (it was like watching Brazil!). It was redemption for Steve Cook after his mistake at Arsenal the previous week. He was down on his knees sliding at the Family stand with the rest of his team-mates quick to mob him. 

The excitement was hardly subsiding. This was now anyone's game and Wilson put Afobe in one on one against Karius only for the keeper to pull off a great save as the ball flew over the bar from Afobe's shot.

Liverpool came back into it now, pushing AFCB back. The Cherries were happy to use Fraser's pace on the break, but referee Madley was not playing the advantage when he did get free. Emre Can at least was carded. With 90 minutes approaching a corner towards Afobe was punched clear by Karius, but the ball was being sucked towards the Liverpool end.

With five minutes of added time to go, it just felt like there was a final line to be written. Who could be a hero? Origi took a shot on the volley from a corner, but it sailed well over. We were back down the Liverpool goal and Steve Cook wound up his long throw.

At first Liverpool coped with it but a second attempt was to follow with Cookie asking the crowd to raise the noise level. Little did we know that Ibe would get the ball back to Cook who began to wonder nearer the goal and the 18 yard box, and on his weaker right foot, he took aim and fired in a shot that bounced just before the keeper. Karius fumbled it and Aké was quick to react. At first he only nudged the ball away from the keeper, but his second touch scrambled the ball over the line 4-3. AFCB had done it. The ground erupted in jubilant AFCB fans who all chanted and praised the team for what had been a tremendous comeback.
Did that really just happen?
Afobe and Clyne.
Boruc is pleased with the result.
Liverpool fans look bewildered - how did you lose that?
Summary
If football was a recipe that had great ingredients and was cooked up to a fabulous finish every game it would be something like this. You can't know sometimes how something is going to turn out. It may start off horrible and nothing falls in to place at first, but sometimes you can rescue things and Eddie Howe started to put some corrective forces into the game at half time and by the time Ryan Fraser had energised the right wing of the team, AFCB just went from strength to strength. It was a magnificent turnaround and yet there was a sense that the Cherries might just do something special when up against a big team like Liverpool if they could get a bit of wind behind them. Once that momentum started, it was too much for Liverpool to handle and the points were swept away from the title contenders by a side that never gave up hope despite being battered in the first half. AFCB truly grew up in this game - the rest of the Premier League may start to fear what Eddie Howe's side is capable of now. This was proof that AFCB are a good Premier League side, but some of us already knew that.

Simon Fraser thanks the North stand.
The staff greet the players.
Nathan Aké makes it two goals in three games for himself.


AFCB
Boruc, Francis, Cook, Aké, Smith, Arter, Gosling (Afobe 75), King (Ibe 45), Wilshere,
Stanislas (Fraser 55), Wilson

AFCB Subs
Federici, Mings, Pugh, Afobe, Smith, Fraser, Ibe

AFCB Ratings
Boruc 5, Francis 6, Cook 9, Aké 9, Smith 6, Arter 6, Gosling 5 (Afobe 6),
King 6 (Ibe 6), Wilshere 7, Stanislas 6 (Fraser 10), Wilson 7

Liverpool
Karius, Clyne, Lucas, Lovren, Milner, Wijnaldum, Henderson, Can, Mané (Lallana 69), Origi, Firmino

Liverpool Subs
Mignolet, Klavan, Moreno, Lallana, Ejaria, Woodburn, Alexander-Arnold

Referee Watch: Robert Madley - 5/10 he had difficulty in playing the advantage and it took him to late in the second half to start evening up some free kick decisions against Liverpool.


FA Cup draw tonight on BBC 2 7.10pm
AFCB Ball no 1
Saints Ball no 35
Eastleigh Ball no 60

6 comments:

  1. A magnificent comeback....you did not think ake should be a starter...in my opinion he must be a certain starter...two goals in three games...both winners...Ibe must never start again for a while. .fraser must be given a run now....but where oh where is mousset

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    Replies
    1. I did not think Ake should start as I hoped Daniels would be fit. Charlie was not ready to come back yet so while Ake started at centre back Howe moved him to left back in the second half. He caim to the conclusion as I did that Cook and Francis are best to play as the centre-backs.

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  2. A magnificent comeback....you did not think ake should be a starter...in my opinion he must be a certain starter...two goals in three games...both winners...Ibe must never start again for a while. .fraser must be given a run now....but where oh where is mousset

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  3. Fraser obviously did well but people seem to be overlooking the performance of Jordan Ibe. He was to lively for Clyne who had to stop getting forward and also played a major part in the winning goal.

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    Replies
    1. There is a case for starting Fraser and Ibe together.

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  4. Why oh why did Steve Cook make that comment on Bournemouth targeting Karius? I really like Cook - especially when he goes marauding up front - but he can be a bit of a liability at the back and we can guarantee that Liverpool are going to try and ruin his day when it comes to the return match.
    I wonder if Eddie identifies with Cook a bit, Eddie was a centre-back with a habit of popping up at the front to great effect.

    Those comments were unnecessary, even if they may have been accurate.

    ReplyDelete

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