Player ratings as Nunez & Jota fire Reds to victory

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By newsversepro.com

A depleted Liverpool side deservedly battled out a 4-0 victory away to Bournemouth on Sunday afternoon.

Jurgen Klopp was missing a cadre of stars, including Mohamed Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold, but Darwin Nunez and Diogo Jota filled the void impressively, sharing four second-half goals between them.

Liverpool’s impressive victory sends the Reds five points clear of Manchester City at the Premier League summit.

How the game unfolded

Each set of players was buffeted around by the blustering wind crashing over the English south coast on Sunday as much as the fearsome press employed by both teams in a cagey and even first half. It took 19 minutes for either side to register a shot.

The wind never settled but Liverpool established a stranglehold of the match after the break.

Ultimately, Bournemouth‘s eagerness to press that proved their undoing. Within four minutes of the restart, one hurried ball from Ibrahima Konate soared over the top of all the red and black stripes that had swarmed forward. Curtis Jones had oceans of room between the lines to find Jota, who quickly squared for Nunez. After being unfavourably compared to Andy Carroll before the break, Nunez silenced the home fans by coolly picking out the bottom corner.

Liverpool turned their hosts around with another direct ball in the 70th minute. Nunez shrugged off Illia Zabarnyi, holding the ball up for Cody Gakpo to stroke into Jota’s stride. With a desperately narrow slip of goal to aim at, Jota fizzed the ball in off Neto’s near post.

Jota’s ruthless reputation took a dent when he wildly swung at Conor Bradley’s cutback. The Portuguese forward connected with thin air but was first to the loose ball, rapidly restoring his standing with another crisp drive beyond Neto.

Nunez completed his brace in stoppage time. Bournemouth had been reduced to ten men when Max Aarons limped off injured with all five subs already on the pitch. The right-back had scarcely hampered Nunez before he was hobbled and left space for the Uruguayan to steal in at the back post, controlling a brilliant half-volley inside the far post with an uncharacteristic layer of composure.

Luis Sinisterra

Luis Sinisterra (centre) was targeted by Liverpool / Ryan Pierse/GettyImages

GK: Neto – 5/10 – Could do nothing about Liverpool’s expert finishing.

RB: Max Aarons – 4/10 – Not a physical match for Nunez and routinely lost his man when he drifted centrally.

CB: Illia Zabarnyi – 3/10 – Bullied under the ball by Nunez for Liverpool’s second goal.

CB: Chris Mepham – 3/10 – Never got a grip of the wriggly Jota.

LB: James Hill – 6/10 – On his return from a successful loan spell at Blackburn Rovers, Hill fared well against Luis Diaz before a surprisingly early substitution.

CM: Lewis Cook – 5/10 – A little too eager to win back possession at times but kept his head above water in a tricky midfield slog.

CM: Ryan Christie – 6/10 – Industrious and dextrous as he charged between both boxes.

AM: Patrick Kluivert – 4/10 – Got away with a nasty stamp on Luis Diaz in the first half which skirted the line of a yellow and red card.

RW: Marcus Tavernier – 6/10 – Bournemouth’s most active attacking outlet, wasting no opportunity to crash into Liverpool’s box.

ST: Dominic Solanke – 3/10 – Simply didn’t get involved in the much-anticipated reunion with his former team.

LW: Luis Sinisterra – 5/10 – Clearly signposted as a pre-game threat, Sinisterra attracted three visiting players around him every time he got the ball. More often than not, he couldn’t weave through the crowd.

Substitutes

SUB: Alex Scott (55′ for Sinisterra) – 7/10 – Shown with every sporadic touch he was afforded. The only question Scott’s cameo raised was why he didn’t start.

SUB: Lloyd Kelly (55′ for Hill) – 5/10

SUB: David Brooks (69′ for Kluivert) – 5/10

SUB: Kieffer Moore (83′ for Solanke) – N/A

SUB: Philip Billing (83′ for Cook) – N/A

Subs not used: Mark Travers (GK), Ben Greenwood, Gavi Kilkenny, Emiliano Marcondes

Manager

Andoni Iraola – 5/10 – Bournemouth had their moments in the first half but Iraola couldn’t adjust to Liverpool’s half-time injection of energy even with two substitutions before the hour mark.

Alexis Mac Allister

Alexis Mac Allister sat at the base of Liverpool’s midfield / Mike Hewitt/GettyImages

Alisson – 5/10 – Stood out for his garish orange strip rather than the little work he had to do.

RB: Conor Bradley – 6/10 – Never going to entirely fill the giant boots left by Trent Alexander-Arnold going forward but was solid in his own half.

CB: Ibrahima Konate – 8/10 – Eager to step forward in and out of possession, injecting a sense of urgency and purpose into Liverpool’s game from the defensive third.

CB: Virgil van Dijk – 7/10 – Invariably in the right place all the time to snuff out any threat in his near vicinity.

LB: Joe Gomez – 5/10 – In the absence of Alexander-Arnold, Gomez stepped into midfield from full-back on occasion but showed none of his teammate’s craft.

CM: Harvey Elliott – 6/10 – The hot-blooded approach he took to trying to win back the ball seeped into his game in possession at times.

CM: Alexis Mac Allister – 7/10 – Unfazed by the biblical conditions, Mac Allister sprayed the ball around the Vitality Stadium with an eye-catching swagger.

CM: Curtis Jones – 7/10 – Always offering Liverpool what they needed, dropping deep to help with the build-up and pushing between the lines to help create the opener.

RW: Luis Diaz – 4/10 – Scurried and hurried without much consequence.

ST: Diogo Jota – 9/10 – Wreaking havoc as Liverpool’s false nine, lurking in the corridors of uncertainty between Bournemouth’s backline, before scoring his goals from the right wing.

LW: Darwin Nunez – 8/10 – Whether the crowd’s criticism would have registered with the Uruguayan is uncertain but he delivered the perfect response nonetheless.

Substitutes

SUB: Cody Gakpo (64′ for Elliott) – 6/10

SUB: Ryan Gravenberch (64′ for Diaz) – 5/10

SUB: Bobby Clark (83′ for Jones) – N/A

SUB: Owen Beck (83′ for Bradley) – N/A

Subs not used: Caoimhin Kelleher (GK), Adrian (GK), Jarell Quansah, Kaide Gordon, Kames McConnell

Manager

Jurgen Klopp – 8/10 – Rightly wary of Bournemouth’s threat and countered against it brilliantly, guarding against any high turnovers and unnerving their hosts with a slightly more direct approach.

Player of the match – Diogo Jota (Liverpool)

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