Monday, 10 December 2018

First goal so important when playing Liverpool

Eddie Howe was adamant that Liverpool were unfairly gifted the first goal. Had the assistant referee put his flag up as he should, the game would have been very tight at half-time. Salah was offside but the assistant referee had not kept up with play. Going a goal down didn't change the flow of the game, but it did help dictate the pattern for the rest of the match.
Bournemouth knew they had to score first, bu it didn't work out that way.
Bournemouth were now chasing the game and in that position it was always going to be easier for Liverpool to draw free kicks, stretch the play and make Bournemouth have to strain to get back into the game. Bournemouth needed to get parity in the game to really give themselves some belief, and when decisions kept going against them, there was no help likely to be coming from the home support, who became more incensed by Lee Mason's attitude to protect Liverpool's players. It was a bad recipe for the home team and while Liverpool didn't seem to be tearing AFCB apart, they had the momentum behind them and in the second half, hopes all came crashing down AFCB.

It seems crazy that one moment can have such a bearing on a game, but players do make better decisions when they know they are in a close game, and that they can be the team to score first if they get the run of the ball at the right time. Bournemouth are not always good at going on to win when they do score first, but coming from behind is always more difficult.

Eddie Howe was clear about Liverpool being rather fortunate for their first goal - "they were helped for their first goal by a bad call from the linesman and after that some generous defending from us... I don't think it is a particularly tough one to see. That one should have been spotted," said Howe.

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