Liverpool reverted to old ways after a stunning 1-0 defeat at the hands of bottom-of-the-league side, Bournemouth, in an early Premier League kickoff at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Having thrashed Manchester United 7-0 at Anfield last week, the Reds, who have struggled for the most part of the campaign, were believed to be on track as they fight for European football next season but encountered a setback against an unlikely foe.
Thirteen minutes into the match, Liverpool found the back of the net through Cody Gakpo from a heading from Darwin Nunez but was ruled out for offside before Dango Ouattara missed two big chances to put Bournemouth ahead.
With two minutes from the half-hour mark, Nigerian-born Philip Anyanwu Billing put Bournemouth ahead thanks to a pass from Ouattara’s brilliant counterplay, which eventually became the match-winning goal.
In the 68th minute of the game, Liverpool were awarded a penalty following VAR review after Adam Smith’s arm blocked a shot by Diogo Jota but Mohamed Salah failed to convert from the spot as he fired wide off the post.
Liverpool and Bournemouth made late attacking threats in the last minute of the encounter to find the second goal of the game but were unable to put the ball past the goalkeepers as the Cherries secured its third victory in 17 league matches to temporarily move away from the relegation zone.
Meanwhile, Liverpool failed to provisional move into the top four for the first time in several weeks as the battle for European football takes another turn, with the possibility of fourth-placed Tottenham going six points clear of them ahead of its match with Nottingham Forest.