This was not an easy one to watch. Even though we sprinted out to a two goal advantage in the first half I thought, “we really don’t look that good.”
This was a total team loss.
Sadio Mane’s goal should have never happened. Artur Boruc messed up royally in goal with his indecision on whether to charge out and neutralize the threat or not.
Divock Origi’s excellent conversion for our second should have never happened. Boruc, again at the center of the storm. Mane did well to win the ball back and Jordan Henderson’s pass was excellent as well. But it was another error by Boruc that put the Cherries down by two.
The second half was just horrendous all around. I don’t know if Joel Matip would have made any difference on the first goal we conceded. The, “Tale of Two Dejan’s” reared its ugly head once again with Dejan Lovren inexplicably giving away possession on the edge of the box followed by James Milner lunging in on the wrong side of super substitute Ryan Fraser to give away a penalty. Just kick the damn ball into row 50 Lovren!
At this moment of the game, it was painfully obvious Bournemouth wanted it more. Up until give away the penalty, Milner was the only player who looked like he gave a damn, and it blunted his confidence.
Throughout the past weeks, we’ve failed to see Mane really taking defenders on and driving them back into the box. The one time he did so against Bournemouth, he found Emre Can with hand raised then proceeded to curly a beauty around two defenders leaving Boruc flailing helplessly to stop the effort.
We now have a two goal advantage once more and we haven’t had the best run out of the season, extremely lucky. Now take the air out of the game. Clear the lines. Pass the ball around the back. Pass it further back to Loris Karius. Don’t give the Cherries a way back in. This tactical awareness is just not part of our DNA.
Jurgen Klopp’s modus operandi has been to not give the opposition a moments peace. But we were never threatening consistently. We were no longer pressing at all. We were giving the ball away cheaply and inviting pressure on the defense.
To make matters worse, Origi had one of the worst displays of challenging for headers and holding up play. And Origi has no excuse. He’s fresh. He should be hungry, should be showing the desire, should be aware we don’t have our best center back out there and should be relieving as much pressure from the back four as possible.
What happens next? Ryan Fraser happens. When you give the ball away cheaply (Origi) and invite the counter, Ryan F!@#ing Fraser happens, scoring. Our back four are running around like they’re on an ice rink, shambolic.
Moments later, a free kick to Bournemouth 40 yards out. The defense makes an initial clearance, but again Origi fails to clear, misses the header completely and we’re picking the ball out of our net again, courtesy of Steve Cook.
At this point, I wish the game had just ended. Origi had one halfway decent sniff at goal in the late stages, but we really only had two or three meaningful attacks in the entire half. Bournemouth just wanted it more.
We took this game for granted several times over and fully deserved the loss when Karius mishandled a tricky low drive by Cook and Nathan Ake put the Cherries on top (sometimes this $#!+ writes itself).
Klopp smiled and was gracious in the aftermath, given credit to our opponents. I pray he has some motivational lesson to impart on the squad, but didn’t we have enough of that last year? Sunderland? Southampton?