Salah misses penalty as Bournemouth shock Liverpool

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Mohamed Salah missed a penalty as Liverpool came back down to earth with a 1-0 defeat at strugglers Bournemouth on Saturday.

Jurgen Klopp’s side visited Dean Court in high spirits after beating arch-rivals Manchester United 7-0 last weekend.

But Liverpool’s hopes of using that remarkable result as a springboard for a top-four finish in the Premier League were given a brutal reality check on the south coast.

Philip Billing punished a depleted Liverpool to put the struggling hosts ahead early and Salah missed an equalizer 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.

Fifth-placed Liverpool appeared to have used all their goals in the United demolition and remain three points behind Tottenham ahead of the north London game against Nottingham Forest later on Saturday.

Apart from the loss to Liverpool’s top-four bid, it was hardly ideal preparation for Wednesday’s Champions League last 16 leg at Real Madrid, where the Reds needed to overturn a 5-2 deficit to win a goal in the Spanish capital. A miracle is needed.

Loss to a Bournemouth side, which started the day bottom of the table and lost 9-0 at Liverpool in August, was the latest outrage in a troubled season for Klopp’s men, which included shock defeats against Brighton, Brentford and Wolves. Was defeated.

Bournemouth scored the second fastest goal in Premier League history at Arsenal last weekend but still conceded a two-goal lead in a painful last-gasp defeat against the leaders.

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It was Liverpool who made the quicker start this time and Virgil van Dijk’s header arrowed towards the top corner until Bournemouth midfielder Jefferson Lerma crossed the line.

– creaking Liverpool –

Bournemouth should have capitalized on that escape moments later when Dominic Solanki’s pass cleared Dango Ouattara on goal.

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

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

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

Racing down the right, Ouattara dismissed a weak challenge from Van Dijk and whipped in a low cross that Billing finished from close-range as Liverpool’s sluggish defenders failed to react.

Van Dijk had a chance to make amends for his part in Liverpool’s shameless defending when he rose to head in Robertson’s cross, but the Dutch centre-back went wide with the goal at his mercy.

Klopp responded to Liverpool’s sluggish performance by sending off Diogo Jota for Harvey Elliott at half-time.

It took only three minutes for Jota to make his presence felt with a curler, which Neto pushed away at force.

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

Picked out by James Milner’s cross, Jota rose at the far post for a goal-bound header, which 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 lofted his effort wide.

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