Liverpool returned to winning ways after a nervy win over Bournemouth, with their defence looking frantic and all over the place at times. Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane both scored following a controversial early goal from Callum Wilson..
It was indeed a very controversial early goal. Honestly, our officials in England are actually pathetic. I used to hate VAR, but I've come to the fact that it's simply our tragic standards of refereeing in this country. Wilson LITERALLY just shoved Joe Gomez off the ball with both his hands. How on earth did they miss that? Something has to be done, but you just know that the egotistical referee committee couldn't care less and will ignore everyone's complaints.
I thought Liverpool were okay offensively. There is clearly room for improvement. They did seem sloppy with some misplaced passes in the second half. Mane was really good yet again though. A goal and assist for him was a fitting reward for his overall play. For me, he's the very obvious candidate for the PFA Player of the Year award, but somehow the English media will force some propaganda to get Jordan Henderson to win it. James Milner was also really good. You can always guarantee a good performance from him, no matter what position he's played in. I feel like everyone has said that a million times about him before though, so moving on.
We need to start having a conversation about Roberto Firmino. He started the season well, but to be honest, he's been pretty average for the rest of it. He doesn't score many goals, and people make the claim that he gets the best out of Mane and Salah. Yes, he does, but he just seems to be struggling so much in front of goal, and it puts so much pressure on the other two. Why not just buy an out and out number nine who can help share the burden of Mane and Salah, then use Firmino differently? I understand that Jurgen Klopp wants a hard working midfield three, but in some games he can switch it up. Liverpool have shown that they sometimes struggle breaking down defensive teams, so maybe moving Firmino into the ten role and playing someone like Timo Werner (who they've been heavily linked with recently) up front will give them a new option. It kinda makes sense.
Despite this win, I think Klopp and Liverpool fans will be slightly concerned ahead of the Atletico Madrid game. We know Liverpool will have a hard time breaking them down, but they absolutely need to make sure they don't concede. But right now, the Reds are looking uncharacteristically shaky at the back. Gomez has been quite frantic in recent weeks, while the absence of Alisson is set to be a HUGE one. Adrian in goal has been really bad in the last couple of games, and he's simply an average goalkeeper compared to the Brazilian. I thought today he was extremely unconvincing and just exuded fear into the defence. It could prove to be a huge loss really.
I think Eddie Howe will generally be pretty pleased with this performance despite the loss. Bournemouth created a number of genuinely clear cut chances, and were solid at the back for large portions of the game. However, conceding two goals from stupid individual errors will have him absolutely tearing his hair out. That miss by Wilson at the end of the game was also truly incredible. I don't know if he was offside or not, but there was simply no excuse at all for a miss like that. Another plus is that Philip Billing seems to be a really good player. That was a really intelligent move to take him from Huddersfield when they were relegated.
So that's my thoughts on the game. An important yet unconvincing win for Liverpool as they take another step towards their first ever Premier League title. Now their attention will turn to the huge second leg against Atletico Madrid.