Mohamed Salah missed a penalty as Philip Billing’s first-half goal proved enough for Bournemouth to stun Liverpool 1-0

Bournemouth took the lead against the run of play with a 28th-minute opener. January arrival Dango Ouattara raced away from Virgil van Dijk and cut the ball back for Bournemouth top scorer Billing to poke home from close range.

Liverpool were awarded a penalty with just over 20 minutes remaining as referee John Brooks consulted the VAR screen and penalised Adam Smith for handball when he blocked a goal-bound header from substitute Diogo Jota.

But Salah blasted his penalty well wide of Neto’s right-hand post as Liverpool missed a glorious opportunity to snatch an equaliser.

Substitute Ryan Christie forced a good save from Alisson late on, with Bournemouth weathering a late surge from the away side to hang on and claim an important three points, denting Liverpool’s top-four hopes.

The result sees Bournemouth climb off the bottom of the table to 16th, while Liverpool stay fifth ahead of the rest of the weekend’s fixtures.

Bournemouth switched from a back three to a back four for this game but it was Liverpool who posed the early threat with Van Dijk seeing a towering back-post header cleared off the line by Jefferson Lerma, who showed alertness and composure to head the ball away after a precise Trent Alexander-Arnold corner.

Bournemouth fashioned an opportunity on the break shortly after, but Ouattara could only find the side netting after rounding Alisson during a swift counter-attacking move.

Andy Robertson saw a shot across goal saved well by Bournemouth goalkeeper Neto before Liverpool had a goal ruled out for offside in an action-packed first 20 minutes, with Cody Gakpo beyond the last defender when he latched on to a Darwin Nunez header to volley into the net.

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Bournemouth continued to look dangerous on the counter, taking the lead against the run of play after Ouattara beat the offside trap after a ball over the top from Smith.

Ibrahim Konate was playing the £20m January arrival on and Ouattara capitalised on a slip from Van Dijk to get to the byline and square for Billing who ran into the box and tapped home from seven yards.

Liverpool looked stunned by going a goal down, but started the second half on the front foot with a near-instant impact from substitute Jota, on in place of Harvey Elliott, who drove at the Bournemouth defence and fired a powerful shot that forced a diving save from Neto.

Marcos Senesi should have doubled Bournemouth’s lead just shy of the hour-mark but the Argentine failed to connect with Billing’s corner, with what looked like a free header.

Salah missed a glorious opportunity to equalise from the spot, missing the target from 12 yards after Smith was adjudged to have handled in the box following a header from Jota.

The home side were denied a second when Alisson saved from Christie late on, with Gakpo firing over in injury time as Gary O’Neil’s side held on to claim a vital three points.


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