Bournemouth 0 Liverpool 2: Three talking points
Bournemouth 0 Liverpool 2: Three talking points as the Reds make it through to the fifth round of the FA Cup
Despite what the scoreline and would suggest, Bournemouth acquitted themselves very well here, at least for an hour, against a team a league (and a half) higher than them. From the start, they showed hunger to recover from four games without a win, as they hassled Liverpool and took the game to them, particularly Charlie Daniels down the left. Victory Moses’ goal – a decent hit from the edge of the box which crept past a few defenders and into the keeper Lee Camp’s near post after 26 minutes – came largely against the run of the play. Undeterred, they kept on fighting, and the game could have been very different if they were given a penalty just before the hour – Simon Charles’ shirt clearly tugged by Martin Kelly from a corner. While it was a deserved penalty, in fairness to the officials it was one of those decisions not easy to judge in real-time. As it was, Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge combined, again, to find Liverpool’s second just minutes after, and effectively killed the game off, as Bournemouth tired near the end and Liverpool could have netted another one or two, even if undeserved.
Liverpool’s cup hopes
Brendan Rogers, in his team selection, hinted at a strong desire to win the FA Cup this season, as they fielded eight of the same players as they did against Aston Villa last Saturday in the league. With all three teams above them in the league in serious contention for the league and with European ambitions Liverpool which don’t have this season, it could be Liverpool’s year for the cup. Overall, this was a workmanlike performance from Liverpool, but fans should be buoyed by the fact that they won in spite of their mediocrity, and that, in Suarez and Sturridge, they now have two strikers capable of creating something from basically nothing. As said Sturridge himself, and on the other side of the fence Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe, Liverpool’s superior ability in the final third was the decisive factor.
Keeping Mignolet’s seat warm
Second-choice goalkeeper Brad Jones started here, and in truth, despite keeping a clean sheet, did not produce much that will unduly worry first choice Simon Mignolet, even if the Belgian’s form has dropped a little from his brilliant start at the club at the beginning of the season. Jones looked uncertain dealing with crosses, flapping weakly at a couple, and his shot-shopping ability was generally left untested.