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Cherry Poppin': Bournemouth 0-2 Liverpool Thoughts

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Liverpool put in one of the least convincing performances of the season, yet somehow come out with a win.

Proper hard.  Yes, those are staples.
Proper hard. Yes, those are staples.
Julian Finney

The old adage about winning ugly is still winning was never more true than today in Liverpool's FA Cup clash with Bournemouth.  The hosts came out of the gates with a real desire to be a giant slayer.  They pressed early winning corner after corner.  Liverpool were struggling to clear their lines and make anything on the counter.  That all changed when Suarez got the ball on the right and sent a looping cross to Moses on the corner of the box.  Moses calmly brought it down and slotted it through a couple legs and past the sprawling Bournemouth keeper at the near post.  It might have been a bit fortunate as the shot was nothing spectacular, but it was a goal nonetheless.

Liverpool were a little fortunate to enter the half 1-0 up as Bournemouth kept applying the pressure.   The first half was pretty much summed up by Henderson's horrible miss as Suarez cut the ball back to him at the spot and he decided to try and knock an NSA satellite out of orbit instead of putting it on net.  Entering the half, it was assumed Rodgers would shake things up and knock some sense into his squad, a very strong XI, but it was more of the same as the second half started.

Liverpool seemed content to just sit and counter.  They absorbed the pressure or at least Bournemouth failed to produce anything like a clinical finish.  In addition, Bournemouth had a great shout for a penalty as Martin Kelly forgot his last name was Kelly, not Skrtel, and grabbed a handful of jersey and tugged with all his might on a corner as his man ran away from him. It was then exactly who you'd expect, Sturridge and Suarez linking up to break the deadlock as Suarez placed a wonderfully weighted pass into the path of Sturridge who calmly smashed it into the back of the net.  With Liverpool up 2-0, Bournemouth pressed harder and the game finally got a bit of flow.  However, Liverpool still never felt in control of the match.  Liverpool squandered a couple of other great opportunities with Sturridge and Suarez just missing on efforts to chip the Bournemouth keeper.  However, a 4-0 scoreline would have been ridiculously flattering. The final whistle was a welcome one and one with out major injury, other than Skrtel's massive head wound that was stapled together behind the net.  You'd say he was proper hard, but I saw that tramp stamp when he was lying on the ground.

In the end, a win is a win.  However, given two back to back sluggish performances one has to being to wonder if Liverpool are slumping a little bit.  Granted injuries are taking their toll, but when you start SAS and only get two goals against a Championship side fighting relegation, it definitely makes you think. Next up is the Derby on Tuesday.  One of the most important Derbys in a long time. Luckily Everton are also playing today, but it still will be a test for Liverpool both mentally and physically to be up for it.

More bullets:

-I had the same look as Martin Skrtel in the above picture on my face the whole match.  This was a painful one to watch.

-Why play Suarez and Sturridge for a full 90 with the Merseyside Derby on the horizon.  I'm not a huge fan of that.

-Coutinho is continuing to struggle.  Shall we call it s sophomore slump?  He was pretty much anonymous for large parts of the game.

-Do Liverpool even have a midfield?  Good god that was frustrating to watch.  They desperately need to sign a CM, especially with Lucas going down.

-The white shorts looked MUCH better with those hideous away kits.  Perhaps they'll make the switch permanent.

-Bournemouth really like balloons, luckily they're not as effective as beach balls.