Bournemouth – Liverpool: Second-Half Demolition Ends Cherries’ Resolve (0-4)

A stormy evening on the south coast saw two opposing pressing systems collide in a breathless first half dedicated solely to the art of the high turnover. Bournemouth’s resilience could not last and the league leaders, Liverpool, soon extended their grip at the top of the table after a second-half rout. 

Tactical analysis and match report by Nick Hartland.

Bournemouth were transformed in the summer by the managerial appointment of Andoni Iraola into one of the Premier League’s most exciting sides. A slow start to the season belied the work done behind the scenes to implement a system of organized chaos built on targeted pressing and quick vertical movements with the ball. 

It’s almost been a title charge by stealth for Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, as they looked to maintain their grip on first place with a visit to the south coast. Performances have not always impressed this season, and with nine players unavailable there has at times been a patchwork feel to their starting lineups. Nevertheless, they keep finding results and remain unbeaten in the league since September. 

Iraola lined his side up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Neto in goal, behind a backline of James Hill, Chris Mepham, Illia Zabarnyi, and Max Aarons. The double pivot of Ryan Christie and Lewis Cook, while Justin Kluivert was in a more advanced role. On the wings, were Luis Sinisterra and Marcus Tavernier, leaving Dominic Solanke as the lone striker. 

Klopp went with his fluid 4-3-3 shape which saw Alisson Becker as the goalkeeper, supported by Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk, Ibrahima Konaté, and Conor Bradley who was making his professional . . .

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