Liverpool are going through the worst moment of the season at this point. After the defeat in Spain with Atl. Madrid, which left the English in a delicate situation still in the round of 16 of the Champions League where they stand as title champions, Jürgen Klopp's team crashed against Watford and lost again in the middle of the week, being eliminated by Chelsea from England Cup, although with an eleven with several savings. In two weeks, Liverpool saw the European campaign get more difficult, lost for the first time this season in the Premier League and wasted the opportunity of a treble (Champions, Premier and Cup) that in England only Manchester United achieved.
Still, one of the Liverpool players this week lived up to that maxim that normally applies in the most difficult moments: football is the most important of the least important things in life. Naby Keita, a 25-year-old midfielder who has been battered by several injuries since the start of the season, ended up being at the center of a tragedy that happened in his home country, Guinea. A bus from Étoile de Guinée, a Guinean football team, crashed last Thursday with 28 people on board – nine eventually died, the remaining 19 were in critical condition. The first news reports that Naby Keita's brother was among the victims; the following reports corrected the information and said that he was, after all, the player's cousin, not the brother; the final confirmation ended up reassuring Keita's family, as the Liverpool midfielder's cousin was one of 19 survivors of the serious accident.
“I am shocked, sad and heartbroken by this terrible news. My sincere condolences to Étoile de Guinée and Guinean football, ”wrote Naby Keita on social media, the same week she returned to Liverpool training and was already in the call for the Reds' reception at Bournemouth. Jürgen Klopp then had Keita on the bench but did not have Alisson in the starting eleven, as the Brazilian goalkeeper was injured during the week, nor Robertson, who between a small physical problem and the need for team rotation ended up being out of the chosen.
Against the antepenultimate classified in the Premier League, currently in relegation zone, Jurgen Klopp then launched Adrián in goal and James Milner on the left of the defense, while Oxlade-Chamberlain, as usual and in place of the injured Henderson, kept Fabinho company and Wijnaldum in midfield. With the game still going on, Anfield fans were surprised by a sensation that has been recurring in recent matches but has not been around for a long time in Liverpool: the feeling of defeat. After three losses in the last four games, Klopp's team was surprised by a goal by Callum Wilson, who took advantage of a mistake by Joe Gomez, and was losing even before the first ten minutes (9 ′).
– Premier League (@premierleague) March 7, 2020
Klopp asked for support from the stands – after complaining a lot to the refereeing team for understanding that Wilson missed Gomez in the goal – and Liverpool reacted in the only way they know how. Van Dijk's team placed the first line of construction almost in midfield, with all the Bournemouth players behind the ball, and kept lateralizing possession to try to reach the opponent's great area. The reaction to the ball loss, always very intense, allowed Liverpool to push Bournemouth back, even though Eddie Howe's team scared Adrián after a corner and a shot from outside the area.
Roberto Firmino had Liverpool's first big chance when he appeared in the face of Ramsdale (17 ′), but the goal ended up through a mistake by the Bournemouth defense, just as it had happened with Joe Gomez on the other side. Simpson, who had since replaced the injured Steve Cook, was disarmed by Mané, who assisted Salah for the tie (25 ′): the striker shot from the left foot and near the post, in a goal that turned out to be the 70th. Th in 100 Premier League games for the Egyptian, seven more than any other player in the first hundred games for Liverpool. More than that, Salah became the first to score 20 or more goals for Liverpool in three consecutive seasons since Michael Owen between 2000 and 2003.
70 – Mohamed Salah has scored 70 goals in his 100 Premier League appearances for Liverpool, seven more than any other player in their first 100 for the club (Fernando Torres, 63). King. #LIVBOU pic.twitter.com/4X6tzDML5p
– OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 7, 2020
Even before the break, and following a great pass from Tearing Van Dijk, Mané started towards the goal and put Liverpool to win at the end of Ramsdale (33 ′). At the end of the first half, Jürgen Klopp's team had already turned the result around and had taken the fright out of the opening minutes, but there was always a clear idea that Bournemouth, especially in quick transitions and taking advantage of Liverpool's defensive errors, could do some damage.
In the second half, the game was practically one-way, with Liverpool clearly looking for the third goal that could offer tranquility and Klopp to postpone the first substitution to the maximum, clearly waiting for that intended increase of advantage. Liverpool had a lot of possession but rarely managed to break through the defense of Bournemouth, which was very compact and putting a lot of people on the pass lines that the reds were looking for. Even before Mané hit the post with a great shot from outside the area (73 ′), James Milner ended up putting on the cap and assuming the role of superhero by avoiding the goal of Fraser, who made a hat a Adrián (60 ′). Milner ran, pulled over the goal line and held the victory for Liverpool.
Jürgen Klopp's team defeated Bournemouth and returned to winning ways in the Premier League, days before the second leg of the Champions League round of 16 against Atl. Madrid, where he will try to return to the tie and move on to European competition. In the middle, it is increasingly notorious that Liverpool are in a descending phase of the season: they make mistakes in defense, have little intensity in the organized attack and survive thanks to the effectiveness of the offensive transition. Alisson will be missed, Robertson is important and is not there but the name that leaves the biggest gap in Klopp's team is Jordan Henderson, the midfielder who is captain, leader on and off the field but also an indispensable pendulum in the midfield of the reds. In the middle, and in the absence of Robertson on the left of the defense and Henderson with the armband, James Milner was a sideline, captain and superhero in his return to winning ways for Liverpool – who are already three wins away from winning the Premier League.