Mohamed Salah misses penalty as Liverpool slump at Bournemouth

Striker fires wide as manager Jurgen Klopp laments another poor display

Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah reacts after missing his penalty in the defeat at Bournemouth. AFP
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Mohamed Salah missed a penalty as Liverpool came back down to earth in a shock 1-0 defeat at struggling Bournemouth on Saturday.

Jurgen Klopp's side travelled to Dean Court in high spirits after their historic 7-0 thrashing of arch rivals Manchester United last weekend.

But their hopes of using that remarkable result as a springboard to push for a top four finish in the Premier League were given a brutal reality check on the south coast.

Philip Billing punished woeful Liverpool defending to put the struggling hosts ahead early on and Salah blew the chance to equalise when he fired wide from a second half spot-kick.

Salah became Liverpool's record scorer in the Premier League era when he netted twice against United.

But the Egypt star's failure to add to his total of 130 condemned Liverpool to a first defeat in their last six league games.

 "What can I say? It was never really our game. We were dominant in the first half but mostly we put ball in at the wrong moment against a compact side," Klopp told BT Sport.

Bournemouth v Liverpool - in pictures

"They had their counter-attacks they wanted to have. I really think the spaces we had to play were super clear, super open.

"The rest was more or less busy with covering other spaces, we didn't use that often enough, didn't enjoy the challenge to face a deep, compact side. Little things witch make a massive difference and then we go 1-0 down, not helpful obviously in the counter-attack.

"We didn't defend it well and then I thought we started pretty well in the second half and then got the penalty and we missed it. After that we were in a real rush and didn't create enough really and that's it."

Apart from the damage done to Liverpool's top four bid, it was hardly ideal preparation for Wednesday's Champions League last 16 second leg at Real Madrid, where the Reds need a miracle in the Spanish capital to overturn a 5-2 deficit.

Losing to a Bournemouth side that started the day bottom of the table and lost 9-0 at Liverpool in August was the latest indignity in a troubled season for Klopp's side which has featured shock losses against Brighton, Brentford and Wolves.

Liverpool made a fast start and Virgil van Dijk's header was arrowing towards the top corner until Bournemouth midfielder Jefferson Lerma cleared off the line.

Bournemouth should have capitalised on that escape moments later when Dominic Solanke's pass sent Dango Ouattara clean through on goal.

But as Ouattara rounded Liverpool keeper Alisson Becker, his touch took him too wide and he could only shoot into the side-netting.

Ouattara again threatened Liverpool with his pace but once more he could not provide the finishing touch as Van Dijk got back for a last-ditch block.

Liverpool's high defensive line was creaking and Ouattara finally helped puncture it in the 28th minute.

Racing on to a pass down the right flank, Ouattara shrugged off Van Dijk's weak challenge and whipped over a low cross that Billing finished from close-range as Liverpool's sluggish defenders failed to react.

Klopp responded to Liverpool's lethargic performance by sending on Diogo Jota for Harvey Elliott at half-time.

It took just three minutes for Jota to make his presence felt with a curler that Neto pushed away at full stretch.

Jota was the catalyst for Liverpool's 69th minute penalty.

Picked out by James Milner's cross, he rose highest at the far post for a goal-bound header that was blocked by Adam Smith's outstretched arm.

The spot-kick was awarded after a VAR check, but Salah let Bournemouth off the hook as he blazed his effort woefully wide.

Updated: March 11, 2023, 3:09 PM