Monday, 10 December 2018

Heaviest defeat for Bournemouth at home undeserved?

Whether Liverpool were incredibly good or AFCB were out of sorts is something that we can analyse to see what the main contribution was to the 0-4 scoreline at Dean Court. While Bournemouth have suffered home defeats in recent weeks to Arsenal and Man Utd, the comprehensive defeat to Liverpool was a real destruction of Bournemouth's home record.
The second half goals really dented AFCB's goal difference.
At half-time, it hadn't been a game where fans could have said Liverpool were going to be out of sight in the game. The Cherries had been very compact in defending and had been doing well to keep Salah, Shaqiri and Fermino relatively well restricted to a few chances. It appears that the goal that Salah did score in the first half should also have been ruled out and VAR would have done that next season.

Yet, the half-time break didn't do Bournemouth any favours. One mistake by Steve Cook and suddenly it was a very different game. Going 0-2 down after an individual mistake sucked the life out of Bournemouth. Liverpool had the gap they needed to start enjoying their football and an unfortunate third goal made the result rather conclusive. It didn't take Salah long to complete his hat-trick and the tormented shape of Asmir Begovic for the last goal cut a forlorn figure on the pitch.

Considering that the first goal should never have been and two goals were unfortunate errors involving Steve Cook, one could argue that it was only the fourth goal that really saw Liverpool carve out a cleverly created opportunity that opened Bournemouth up. But if we take that view, we have to balance it with the truth that AFCB only had two shots on goal. David Brooks might have done better in the first half when he had a chance to score, but Allison had a fairly peaceful afternoon and from that point of view the Cherries were far less effective going forward than than they had been against the recent visits of Arsenal and Man Utd.

Added together, the result is more of a reflection of a downturn in Bournemouth's form for me than the outstanding goal form of Mo Salah or Liverpool's great play. So, Eddie Howe has less to draw on from this latest defeat than any of the other reverses against the top teams this season in my view.

In other news, FA Cup Third Round match moved to 12.30pm on Saturday 5 January 2019.

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