Football

Liverpool’s win over Manchester United now means little as Champions League dreams take massive hit

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Liverpool’s away woes continued at the Vitality Stadium facing Bournemouth on Saturday as the Reds lost 1-0. Fresh off of what should’ve been a season-changing 7-0 victory against Manchester United, the Reds struggled against a Bournemouth side that they swept away 9-0 earlier in the season. An early goal from Phil Billing was enough to see the Cherries rise out of the relegation zone as Liverpool had an excellent chance to draw level from the penalty spot but Mohamed Salah drove his chance wide, completely missing the target.

It’s a similar story that has plagued Liverpool in away matches this season. With 13 games played at Anfield, the Reds are the third-best team in the Premier League with 30 points from those matches. But, when they leave their home fans, Liverpool have only won three away matches leading to 12 points in 13 matches. That’s down to mentality as this was the same team that wiped the floor with Manchester United but they couldn’t get past Bournemouth.

The Cherries were boosted by the return of David Brooks to the bench after undergoing treatment for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and Vitality Stadium is a special atmosphere as the fans look to push the team to stay in the Premier League. Sronger Liverpool squads have been able to block out the noise from elsewhere, but not this edition. 

This season, the highs have been high but the lows have been low. Going from being up two goals on Real Madrid to losing 5-2 and then following it up with the 7-0 victory against Manchester United, this is a squad where anything can happen but they don’t have the luxury to be this unpredictable. 

A win could’ve seen the Reds pass Tottenham to jump into fourth place in the Premier League while now they could fall as low as eighth depending on results elsewhere. With a tight race at the top of the Premier League, points will be at a premium everywhere but they also need all the momentum possible ahead of a rematch against Real Madrid in Champions League (which you can catch on Paramount+.).

Behind by three goals and heading into an away match at the Santiago Bernabeu, it will be hard for Liverpool to put this match behind them. Any hesitation will see Real Madrid put more goals past them and if things do go their way and come to a penalty shootout, Salah missing from the spot could even come into play. It’s unlikely that Liverpool will overturn their deficit versus Real Madrid but it would’ve been easier to do so with a win on Saturday to build on their now-gone momentum. 

Without getting through, the remainder of the season gets murkier as the team are entering a gauntlet that will see them face  Manchester City, Chelsea, and Arsenal in rapid succession. There are plenty of matches to point to where Liverpool should’ve picked up points this season but if they can’t turn it around soon, Champions League soccer will only be a pipe dream.