Liverpool made an awful start but, after finding their feet, produced an excellent display to finish 3-1 victors over Bournemouth with 10 men.
Liverpool 3-1 Bournemouth
Premier League (2), Anfield
August 19, 2023
Diaz 27′ (assist – Jota)
Jota 62′ (assist – Szoboszlai)
There were clear issues with Liverpool’s system at the back as the vice-captain struggled positionally, but moving forward there were still positive signs.
HT: Liverpool 2-1 Bournemouth
Liverpool kept up the momentum after the break as their high-intensity approach saw Bournemouth wilt, but a shocking decision from the referee threatened to open the game up.
Alexis Mac Allister was late in his challenge, and did collide with Ryan Christie, but the call to show a straight red card baffled those inside Anfield, with Paul Tierney not overruling referee Thomas Bramall from the VAR booth.
It mattered little for the Reds, thankfully, with the outstanding Szoboszlai driving forward and firing an effort on goal that was palmed out by Neto and converted by Diogo Jota for 3-1.
On came Wataru Endo, then, for his Liverpool debut – just over 24 hours after his £16 million move was confirmed.
His simplicity helped allow the Reds to maintain control despite going a man down, though issues for Alexander-Arnold and Diaz gave cause for concern late on.
Those will be kept on the back-burner for now, with the story of the afternoon being an emphatic first win of the campaign after an early setback.
TIA Man of the Match: Dominik Szoboszlai
Referee: Thomas Bramall
Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold (Gomez 75′), Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Mac Allister, Szoboszlai, Gakpo (Endo 63′); Salah (Tsimikas 86′), Diaz (Nunez 86′), Jota (Elliott 76′)
Subs not used: Kelleher, Matip, Bajcetic, Doak
Bournemouth: Neto; Aarons, Zabarnyi, Senesi (Traore 84′), Kerkez; Rothwell (Kelly 76′), Billing; Semenyo (Brooks 76′), Christie (Moore 63′), Anthony (Kluivert 63′); Solanke
Subs not used: Radu, Mepham, Hill, Kilkenny