Liverpool have suffered a humiliating defeat away from home in their Premier League clash with Bournemouth this afternoon and Jurgen Klopp will be scratching his head following the poor performance from his side after beating Manchester United 7-0 just six days ago.
The Reds have missed out on another opportunity to close the gap between themselves and the Champions League qualifying spots inside the top four and could drop into sixth depending on Newcastle United‘s result against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday.
The 1-0 defeat will be even more frustrating for the manager, team, and supporters when considering the fact that Liverpool dominated possession (69%), had more shots on target (6 v 2), more big chances created (4 v 2) and a higher rate of dribbles completed (67% v 48%).
In the first half, Liverpool got off to a seemingly good start and looked confident in the final third and had plenty of opportunities to hit the back of the net to no avail which ultimately led to key players quickly switching off in the back-line and cost the visitors dearly when Philip Billing found the back of the net to give Bournemouth the lead in the 28th minute.
When the second half resumed so did the Merseysiders’ failure to wake up from their lethargic slump but despite their poor efforts were gifted a golden opportunity to equalise when Adam Smith committed a handball foul inside the box.
Liverpool’s 22-goal top scorer this season, Mohammed Salah, stepped up to take on Neto from the penalty spot and completely misfired which was the final nail in the coffin of a massively disappointing display from Liverpool.
Indeed, there will be fingers pointed at a number of different players with the quality of individual performances from many on the floor, however, it was Harvey Elliott who found himself completely out of his depth after being selected by his manager to complete the midfield three in the starting line-up at the Vitality Stadium.
How did Harvey Elliott get on vs Bournemouth?
The 19-year-old midfielder has become a regular feature and a trusted component in Klopp’s system over the season so far and has been fearless coming up against some of the more difficult opponents over the past few months, however, the youngster struggled massively to hold back the pressure Bournemouth applied.
Over his 45-minute performance, the Liverpool ace – dubbed too “lightweight” by Liam Corcoran – was dribbled past four times, lost 100% of his duels combined, and failed in 100% of his cross attempts, as well as making no tackles, dribble attempts and key passes which led to the player being hooked at half-time by his German coach.
The Anfield Wrap writer Leanne Prescott took to Twitter to question Elliott’s selection alongside Stefan Bajcetic with the young pair being relied upon to make the impact needed to take all three points from the clash:
“Bajcetic & Elliott together felt like a risk of being outmuscled and that’s what we saw.”
Her comment was backed up by the statistics, as the Englishman did lose all of his physical contests, and the manager may be wondering – with the benefit of hindsight – whether or not it was the right call to select him.
With that being said, Klopp was let down badly by the central midfielder and the German head coach may now decide to leave the youngster out when it comes to naming his next XI.
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