Thursday, 6 April 2017

King strikes late to grab vital point at Liverpool

Match Report
Liverpool 2 v 2 AFCB
5 April 2017
Attendance: 53,292
AFCB grab a point from Liverpool with a brave display.
The omens might not have looked good at holding off the free-scoring Liverpool at home when they were pressing for a top four finish, but the Cherries fight bravely and walk not alone but with a massive point from the stands of Anfield. An early mistake from Wijnaldum let Afobe in for a goal head start for the Cherries, but Coutinho made Liverpool's dominance count with a goal just before half time to draw level. Liverpool were now pushing for the win and when Wijnaldum conjured up an inviting cross for Origi the game was looking to be running away from the Cherries at 2-1. Late spirited attacks from the Cherries will haunt Jurgen Klopp though as AFCB came from behind to snatch a fantastic draw with Josh King's late goal. It's no wonder that AFCB really enjoy playing Liverpool, they've taken four of the six points on offer from them this season.
Eddie Howe brought in Harry Arter, Jack Wilshere and Jodan Ibe to the starting eleven and Fraser dropped to the bench, while Surman and Gosling were out injured. It was a big call to start Ibe while to see Lewis Cook, Max Gradel and Lys Mousset all on the bench was also a surprise. Fraser was a second half sub in the win earlier in the season when AFCB played Liverpool, so perhaps this had something to do with Howe's thinking along with giving Ibe a chance at a familiar ground for him.

Liverpool took the game straight to the Cherries with a shot from Firmino that Boruc had to tip over for a corner. Lucas then put the header wide from the near post from the corner. Bournemouth started brightly and looked to press the Liverpool back line and a short back pass from Wijnaldum enabled Benik Afobe to nip in on seven minutes an steer the Cherries into an early lead. It was superbly read by Afobe and he really made it into a bad pass.

Arter blocks Wijnaldum well and AFCB have to keep defending well to keep Liverpool out tonight. Origi catches Arter and Harry takes a blow to the face.

Steve Cook was next to keep Origi out at the expense of a corner on 18 minutes. All AFCB could do was hump the ball up field when they cleared. Steve Cook again headed out for a corner when Can puts in another cross. The corner comes off King and Origi misses a volley at the far post - great chance missed.

Adam Smith and Jordan Ibe were working well just to get the ball up to half way. Afobe almost gets in at the far post but Milner clears for a corner. Pugh!!! Oh, my goodness on the volley, driven wide! It missed the post by inches.

Liverpool are playing very high up the pitch which may suit King running in behind.Francis has to put a cross out for another corner. Afobe heads clear a shot by Wijnaldum from distance is well saved by Boruc - fairly central and low down but hit hard.

Adam Smith returns having taken a knock from Simon Francis. Wilshere is snapping in tackles. Lucas gets a yellow for a foul on Josh King. Josh King gets a run on Klavan and just shoots over the corner of the goal.  An effort from Firmino then is easily saved by Boruc.

AFCB are under pressure now. A free kick is won by Clyne on the edge of the box after Marc Pugh's foul. Coutinho blasts it wide on the angle, 35 minutes gone. A corner for AFCB, to be taken by Francis. It's easily cleared by Liverpool.

Milner is finding a bit of space on the left up against Adam Smith. Coutinho's long shot is calmly stopped by Boruc. 

Liverpool are back in it, Firmino puts a ball in between Francis and Adam Smith - Coutinho is fed through and with just Boruc to beat he finds his feet and slips in the equaliser into the bottom left corner on 40 minutes - 1-1.

Adam Smith is in the wars but he's okay. Coutinho clattered into him going for a header. A free kick to Liverpool but it's half time 1-1.

Liverpool 73%, 12 shots, 5 shots on target, 4 corners, 4 fouls
Bournemouth 23%, 3 shots, 1 shot on target, 2 corners, 3 fouls

Second half
AFCB still need to be disciplined. Ibe on the break is is shepherded out of play.  Clyne tries a spectacular swerving shot from 25 yards and it's off the bar! Boruc tipped that onto the bar - sure he got a finger tip or two to that. Great save. Everyone back for Bournemouth. 

It's all Liverpool and AFCB are defending deep. A good cross form Clyne goes out for a corner. AFCB are hanging in here. Wijnaldum runs onto a ball from Firmino but hits it very high over the goal. Coutinho tries a shot from wide on the left but it bends away for a goal kick.

Wijnaldum puts a cross in and Origi can't miss from a couple of yards out he heads in - 2-1 on 59 minutes. There was some great work from Wijnaldum beating Wilshere and Smith easily and dropping in a inch perfect cross. Coming up to the hour will Howe change things? 

Fraser is warming up. Jordan Ibe is subbed for Fraser on 61 minutes. A rare sortie from Bournemouth sees a Daniels cross claimed by Mignolet. AFCB have to come forward now.

Coutinho is subbed and on comes Matip as Liverpool go to a back five. Daniels puts in a fast cross but no AFCB striker gets near it. Liverpool are stopping AFCB from getting on the front foot most of the time though.

Origi wins a free kick from Francis, but before that there was a good break on for AFCB when Smith picked the wrong pass going for Afobe rather than Fraser through the middle. Can wins another free kick of Adam Smith this time. Lovren goes for an overhead but he is offside.

Just 15 minutes of normal time to go. Emre Can goes in hard trying to rob Wilshere and fouls. Francis gets back well after an initial mistake to cut off Origi. Fraser is caught next and wins a free kick.

Pugh makes a good run through the middle but the Cherries just can't find a way through this Liverpool defence. Max Gradel comes on for Marc Pugh in the 83rd minute.

AFCB doing much better Fraser puts in a cross that King almost gets to. There's a shot from Daniels, it comes back out and is fired through by Arter to Josh King, who turns Lovran, and he's scored!!! 2-2. King has equalised!

Liverpool with a corner Matip with the header - just wide! That was close.

Four minutes of over time and Afobe wins a header from a corner to Liverpool but Fraser is booked for a poor tackle. Boruc has to make a save from Klavan's header but he has it safely. That's it 2-2.

A fascinating contest was brought to an end at just the right time for AFCB with a superb late goal from Josh King. Liverpool will be smarting from two more points dropped, but it's a massive point for the Cherries as they step ever closer to the safety line of 40 points. The Cherries are now unbeaten in five games and this draw is just as big as the Man Utd point they earned a few weeks ago. Liverpool stooped AFCB from playing as high up the pitch as they may have liked but when Liverpool had settled at 2-1 and went defensive it was just the twist that AFCB needed to get them asking questions of the Liverpool defence. An excellent result! UTCIAD! 

Boruc, A Smith, Francis, S Cook, Daniels, Ibe (Fraser 61), Arter, Wilshere, Pugh (Gradel 83), King, Afobe

Allsop, Cargill, B Smith. L Cook, Fraser, Gradel, Mousset

AFCB Player Ratings
Boruc 8, A Smith 7, Francis 6, Cook 6, Daniels 6, Ibe 5, Arter 6, Wilshere 6, Pugh 6, King 8, Afobe 7

Mignolet, Clyne, Lovren, Klavan, Milner, Can, Lucas, Wijnaldum, Coutinho (Matip 65), Firmino, Origi

Liverpool Subs
Karius, Moreno, Grujic, Woodburn, Matip, Sturridge, Alexander 

Referee Watch: Lee Mason 7/10 - no major difficult decisions to make although the home crowd were on his back a bit. 

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