Bournemouth 0-3 Liverpool
- Goals: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (£6.2m), Naby Keita (£5.8m), Mohamed Salah (£12.2m)
- Assists: Jordan Henderson (£5.4m), Salah, Keita
- Bonus: Keita x3, Salah x2, Henderson x1
A hamstring injury to Nathan Ake (£5.0m) was exactly what Bournemouth did not need at the Vitality Stadium in Gameweek 16, but it helped Mohamed Salah (£12.2m) get his first away goal of the season.
The fact that the Cherries were depleted on the afternoon will be frustrating for owners of both Sadio Mané (£12.3m) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.3m), who were both named on the substitute’s bench for Gameweek 16.
The Senegalese international did not feature at all, but might have got in on the act had he been involved, while Alexander-Arnold came on as a first-half substitute but did not feature for long enough to benefit from Liverpool’s first clean sheet since Gameweek 7.
Those who handed Mané the captain’s armband will naturally be disappointed not to see him get a run-out against Bournemouth’s patched up defence, although the fact that he remained on the bench does mean their vice-captains, most like Jamie Vardy (£10.0m) can still come into play.
With Steve Cook (£5.0m) already sidelined and potentially requiring a wrist operation, Eddie Howe lost his other first-choice central defender after 33 minutes on Saturday afternoon.
That could bode well for those frustrated by blanks for Tammy Abraham (£7.9m), Christian Pulisic (£7.5m) and Mason Mount (£6.6m) at Everton as Bournemouth travel to face Chelsea in Gameweek 17.
On Ake’s injury, the Bournemouth boss said:
It is difficult to know. [It] does look like a pulled hamstring. At that moment in the game we were OK. The [first] goal coincided with Nathan going off. It affected us maybe mentally and we never really recovered.
Liverpool scored almost immediately after Jack Simpson‘s (£3.9m) introduction at centre-back as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (£6.2m) volleyed past Aaron Ramsdale (£4.6m) from a raking Jordan Henderson (£5.4m) pass.
Keita doubled that lead not long before the interval, slotting home after an outrageous backheel pass from Salah.
On the Egypt star, who completed 90 minutes in GW16, Jurgen Klopp said post-match:
It’s long ago he got that knock but you carry things like this with you game after game. Mo is now 100%.
The Egypt star then skied an effort over after Roberto Firmino (£9.4m) flicked on a pacy Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.3m) corner.
The 31.1%-owned defender was benched for this encounter, alongside Mané, much to the chagrin of owners.
The latter was not required by Jurgen Klopp with Liverpool cruising but Alexander-Arnold replaced the injured Dejan Lovren (£5.3m) after 39 minutes – which was not enough pitch time to earn him a share of Liverpool’s clean sheet points.
It’s great, we should have more. Everyone was desperate for it and now we have it. The next game a clean sheet would be really useful too. – Jurgen Klopp
On Lovren’s problem, the Reds’ German gaffer explained:
Always you don’t know exactly but it looks not too serious, it looks like a little cramp. He felt something, he told us, said he for sure could go to half-time, wanted to have treatment there and carry on, but we said no and stopped it there.
That’s the status quo, you have these kind of things in this moment of the season. It is similar to what [Georginio Wijnaldum] and Adam Lallana had – not serious but serious enough to keep them out. Now we have two days to make sure they can go again. That’s what I think at the moment but I don’t know 100 per cent.
Keita returned the favour to Salah soon after half time. The Guinean’s slide-rule pass set the Egyptian through to poke past Ramsdale with a right-footed finish.
Alexander-Arnold then saw a shot inside the box saved – one of his three efforts in the game – as Liverpool continued to dominate the home side.
Bournemouth did put the ball in the net after 66 minutes but Diego Rico (£4.3m) was clearly offside when receiving the ball which he crossed for Arnaut Danjuma (£5.8m) to finish.
Just before that, Callum Wilson (£7.5m) was forced to leave the pitch with what also appeared to be a hamstring-related problem.
Bournemouth almost gave up a fourth goal with ten minutes left after some sloppy play near their own area but just managed to clear their lines with Salah and Firmino lurking.
Ramsdale then saved a well-worked Liverpool free-kick, Henderson striking the ball after a one-two with Salah.
Bournemouth XI (4-4-2): Ramsdale; Rico, Aké (Simpson 35′), Mepham, Francis; Fraser, Billing (L Cook 58′), Lerma, Danjuma; Solanke, C Wilson (Gosling 64′).
Liverpool XI (4-3-3): Alisson; Robertson (C Jones 76′), van Dijk, Lovren (Alexander-Arnold 40′), Gomez; Keita, Henderson, Milner; Oxlade-Chamberlain (Shaqiri 87′), Firmino, Salah.
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