Liverpool news: Virgil van Dijk behaviour worrying as four stars flop in Bournemouth loss | Football | Sport
Home » Matches » Liverpool news: Virgil van Dijk behaviour worrying as four stars flop in Bournemouth loss | Football | Sport
Liverpool news: Virgil van Dijk behaviour worrying as four stars flop in Bournemouth loss | Football | Sport

Liverpool were unable to back up their 7-0 humiliation of Manchester United last week, as they slipped up away to Bournemouth on Saturday and succumbed to a 1-0 defeat. Philip Billing got the only goal of the game in the first half, while Mohamed Salah missed the target with a second-half penalty that could have drawn the Reds level. Here, Express Sport runs through the lessons learned, including Virgil van Dijk’s perplexing antics and a system change for Jurgen Klopp that could be the German casting one eye on Wednesday’s Champions League tie with Real Madrid.

Klopp’s familiar defensive issues

Liverpool supporters may have felt that their defensive woes were behind them after five consecutive clean sheets in the Premier League before the trip to Bournemouth.

However, the Reds were given several warning signs before Billing gave the hosts the lead. The Cherries were frequently able to pose a threat on the counter as Dango Ouattara was able to break forward and went around Alisson as an open goal was gaping but the winger was unable to hit the target.

The now-infamous Liverpool high defensive line did not work and the likes of Karim Benzema and Vinicius Jr will surely be able to expose them in midweek and put the Champions League tie to bed.

Concerning Van Dijk moment

BT Sport pundits Peter Crouch and Joe Cole were among many that were surprised at Van Dijk’s decision-making for the opening goal. The Netherlands defender appeared to have Ouattara in a comfortable position, before walking away and allowing the Burkina Faso star a free cross to Billing who finished past Alisson.

Crouch slammed both Van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold for their roles in the goal. “It was disappointing, really disappointing,” he told BT Sport. “[Ibrahima] Konate tries to play offside and then when they get to this stage they seem quite comfortable, then van Dijk seems to give up, Trent Alexander-Arnold switches off and it’s too, too easy for Bournemouth.”

Cole added: “When have we ever seen van Dijk just let someone stroll past him in that situation? Switches off.” While Steve McManaman highlighted that it was not just the sole error that the Dutchman made. “It just wasn’t that one time,” he said. “It was two or three or four times today, that’s the really worrying aspect of today’s first-half performance.”

Learned from Arsenal’s mistake

Last weekend Arsenal conceded the second-fastest goal in Premier League history as Bournemouth scored in just nine seconds at the Emirates, though ended up losing 3-2 in the final moments of the game.

From the kick-off, Ouattara picked up the ball on the right and teased a low cross in for Billing to find himself unmarked to shock the home crowd in north London.

At the Vitality, the Bournemouth kick-off to begin the second half was played back to the centre-backs and hit long, however, Alexander-Arnold was able to cut out the pass and prevent his side from stumbling into the same trap that Arsenal suffered with.

Four Players slip up

In addition to Van Dijk and Alexander-Arnold, there were several disappointing performances in the Liverpool ranks, as Klopp seemingly was not impressed with the first-half display from Harvey Elliot.

The youngster impressed in the 7-0 demolition of Manchester United but Klopp wasted no time in hooking him off after just 45 minutes as Diogo Jota was introduced to the team. Klopp then hooked Alexander-Arnold off in place of James Milner.

Salah had one of his quietest days in a Liverpool shirt, but when given the chance to make headlines once again and draw his side level he was unable to do so. The Reds were awarded a penalty for a handball by Adam Smith, but the Egyptian's spot-kick was blazed high and wide as Salah uncharacteristically missed the target.

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