Jefferson Lerma

Sloppy Liverpool edge past Bournemouth

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Liverpool beat Bournemouth 2-1 at Anfield on Saturday as Jurgen Klopp‘s men recovered from an early setback to secure another victory and bounce back from a tough week.

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After losing at Watford last weekend to see their hopes of an unbeaten season end, Klopp’s side were also dumped out of the FA Cup by Chelsea in midweek and they fell behind early on to Callum Wilson’s controversial goal. Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane both scored in quick succession in the first half to put Liverpool ahead and the rest of the game was a fairly tight encounter as Bournemouth kept battling and almost levelled late on.

Liverpool have now won 22-straight top-flight games at home, setting a new club and top-flight record, and they are 55 Premier League games unbeaten at home, stretching back to April 2017.

With the win they now need just three more victories from to secure their first-ever Premier League title and are 25 points clear atop the table. Bournemouth remain in the relegation zone on 27 points.


3 things we learned

1. VAR sets the precedent: There’s no doubt Callum Wilson pushed Joe Gomez in the build-up to Bournemouth’s early goal but the contact looked pretty natural and the referee waved play on. VAR intervened to check the call but didn’t think it was a clear and obvious error and that set the precedent for the rest of the game. Similar tussles were not called as fouls and whatever you think about Wilson not being penalized, there was consistency in the decisions. In the end it didn’t matter but Wilson’s goal was certainly controversial.

2. Ruthless Liverpool three wins away: It is fair to say Liverpool is limping over the line in their quest to win a first league title in 30 years. A lackluster display mimicked the atmosphere at Anfield as there as an air of expectancy now as everybody just wants to get the job done. Mane and Salah finished off their big chances and even though Liverpool were a little sloppy defensively, they ground out another one-goal win, their 14th of an amazing season.

3. Bournemouth cause their own problems: The Cherries did not play badly at all and had chances late on to grab a point at Anfield. It wouldn’t have been undeserved. Eddie Howe‘s side created their own problems on Saturday as Jack Simpson and Jefferson Lerma gave the ball away in the first half and they were punished. If Bournemouth keep playing like this they will drag themselves out of the relegation zone but the big problem is, they have a very tough schedule remaining.

Man of the Match: Mohamed Salah – A superb goal and wonderful trickery all game long, Salah stepped it up when Liverpool needed it. The Egyptian King has now scored 20 goals in all competitions in all three of his seasons as a Liverpool player. A special mention to Nathan Ake too, who was superb for Bournemouth.


Bournemouth got off to a perfect start as they stunned Anfield with an early goal. Wilson was involved in a tussle with Joe Gomez and play continued with Bournemouth attacking down the right and Jefferson Lerma crossed for Wilson to tap home.

VAR was used but it was deemed that Wilson’s push on Gomez wasn’t a clear and obvious error as Bournemouth were 1-0 up. Soon after they were almost 2-0 up as Nathan Ake towered above a crowd of players from a corner and his superb header was fortuitously pushed onto the bar by Adrian.

Liverpool’s first big chance of the game then arrived as Trent Alexander-Arnold played in Roberto Firmino and his powerful effort was well-saved by Aaron Ramsdale who stood tall. Soon after the game turned on its head.

Jack Simpson, who had come on to replace the injured Steve Cook moments earlier, was caught in possession and Salah kept his composure to equalize with a cheeky finish. Moments later Mane put Liverpool 2-1 up as Virgil Van Dijk found the Senegalese forward who finished calmly as Jurgen Klopp went wild on the sidelines.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Bournemouth hung in there in the second half and almost levelled things up as Ryan Fraser got in over the top and lobbed the ball over Adrian but James Milner appeared from nowhere to hook the ball off the line superbly.

Adrian continued to look uncertain in goal as Bournemouth pushed for an equalizer, while at the other end Virgil van Dijk’s header was saved well by Ramsdale.

Mane then curled an audacious effort off the crossbar late on as Liverpool aimed to see out the game in style, with Roberto Firmino also firing an effort over the bar. Ake almost scored a late winner but was flagged offside as Liverpool held on with minimum fuss, in the end.

Bournemouth holds Chelsea for critical point

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Marcos Alonso scored twice but Chelsea could only get a point from relegation-threatened Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday.

It will feel a vital point for Bournemouth but also a chance lost; The Cherries sit 17th with 27 points.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Bournemouth’s goals came via Joshua King and Jefferson Lerma, while Aaron Ramsdale made five saves.

Chelsea only gains one point on third-place Leicester City and opens the door for the chasing pack. The Blues have 45 points to the Foxes’ 50.


Three things we learned

1. Little-used Alonso saves the day: Look at Alonso’s stat line this season and you’d be forgiven for thinking he’s not a left wing. Little used by Frank Lampard, the Spaniard has four goals and three assists in 10 league appearances.

2. Caballero disappoints: Just as one of Chelsea’s veterans bailed out Lampard with a late equalizer, another did not justify his continued place ahead of Kepa Arrizabalaga. Caballero got his hands on King’s header but couldn’t handle the power, but the second goal saw the goalkeeper nowhere near a pass through the six (though it was certainly more the fault of his lackluster back line).

3. Chelsea’s finishing betrays formm: Tammy Abraham and Christian Pulisic were absent, and no one picked up the slack in terms of the final move. Chelsea took 23 shots to Bournemouth’s nine, but only six were on target on a day the Blues maneuvered well in the final third.

Man of the Match: Alonso.


Philip Billing had two early chances, the first parried by Willy Caballero.

Billing then stole the ball of Fikayo Tomori in the Chelsea box, but the Bournemouth man slashed the clear-cut chance into the side of the goal.

Chelsea then got an eighth-minute chance when Mason Mount‘s speculative drive from distance was unable to beat Aaron Ramsdale.

The Blues broke through in the 33rd minute, Alonso lashing inside the back post after Reece James’ cross took a few turns.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Bournemouth’s Lerma rose high to beat Caballero with a 54th-minute header, the keeper failing to do anything but slow the ball’s path.

King was back post to pass a Stacey cross into the goal after Caballero failed to claim a pass through the six.

Then came the downpour.

Chelsea had to compete with the elements in order to find an equalizer, and Pedro came close in the 78th.

Ramsdale then stymied Mason Mount with a fine 82nd-minute save, and Azpilicueta zipped one wide moments later.

10-man Bournemouth hold on to beat Villa

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Bournemouth won 2-1 at home against Aston Villa in a massive moment in their battle against relegation as they’ve secured back-to-back home victories in the Premier League.

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Philip Billing and Nathan Ake put Bournemouth into a commanding position at half time but then Jefferson Lerma was sent off and Villa’s new Tanzanian striker Mbwana Samatta made it 2-1, but somehow Bournemouth held on for a victory late on.

With the win Bournemouth move up to 16th on 26 points, while Aston Villa have 25 points.


3 things we learned

1. Bournemouth digging deep at home: The Vitality Stadium is a tight little ground and it needs to become a fortress if Bournemouth are going to stay up. Eddie Howe has been under pressure but back-to-back wins against Brighton and Villa in two six-pointers have eased some of that. The Cherries have fought their way up from the fourth-tier to the PL and they need to fight just as hard and regain that spirit to stay in the top-flight this season.

2. Villa should not be worried: Jack Grealish drove them on in this game and Villa should have grabbed a point. Perhaps their heroics of reaching the League Cup final in midweek played its part for Dean Smith‘s side. Yes, they are in a relegation scrap but Samatta grabbed his first goal, Keenan Davis looks good and they deserved more from this game. All in all, Villa shouldn’t be too worried.

3. Lerma needs to learn: Two bookings cost his team and Lerma’s discipline is a big concern. He is a fine player when he isn’t worried about kicking people and his partnership with Billing has been a plus point in Bournemouth’s season. Lerma needs to calm down and stop putting his team in poor situations with cheap bookings. If he can curb that, he can continue being a destroyer. But cheap yellow cards hamper his game.

Man of the Match: Aaron Ramsdale: Bournemouth’s goalkeeper came up with some big stops late on and even though he got it wrong on Villa’s goal, he couldn’t do much more. Heroic display from the 10 men.


The Cherries surged into a 2-0 lead at half time as the Vitality was rocking.

Billing gave Bournemouth the lead after Dan Gosling gets a head on Simon Francis‘ cross to play in Billing, who slotted home.

Ake then made the most of a mistake from Pepe Reina as he failed to deal with Harry Wilson‘s initial shot.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] . 

Jefferson Lerma was then sent off for picking up a second yellow card as Villa sensed their chance to launch a sensational comeback.

After they went down to 10 men, Callum Wilson came close as he flicked just wide for Bournemouth.

But Villa came on strong as Matt Targett‘s shot was blocked on the line and then they pulled one back.

After good work from Jack Grealish a shot from Kennan Davis deflected into the air and Samatta headed home to make it 2-1. Game on.

Grealish and then Davis both went close as Villa poured forward in search of an equalizer but Ramsdale stood tall and Bournemouth held on to spark wild celebrations at the final whistle.

Son red card appeal denied

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Yeah, we all knew how this would end.

Tottenham appealed the red card procured by Heung-Min Son against Chelsea on Sunday, but the appeal was denied by the Premier League disciplinary committee on Tuesday, the league announced.

[ MORE: Spurs to rely on Erik Lamela ]

The failed appeal means that Son will miss the next three Spurs matches, including their Boxing Day game against Brighton & Hove Albion plus subsequent games against Norwich City and Southampton. He will return for the game against Liverpool on January 11.

Son’s red card was shown for a kick into the ribs of Antonio Rudiger, not initially spotted by referee Anthony Taylor but identified on VAR, with Taylor advised to show the red card after a review. Rudiger made a meal of relatively minimal contact, but Son’s actions were still deserving of a sending off even if he failed to make a solid connection with his studs into Rudiger’s chest. Jose Mourinho quipped after the match that Rudiger will “have broken ribs for sure” but his words fell on deaf ears.

The red card is Son’s third of the 2019 calendar year, previously sent off for a push against Bournemouth’s Jefferson Lerma in May plus his eventually overturned sending-off against Everton earlier this season that resulted in Andre Gomes’ gruesome ankle injury. Son becomes the first Premier League player since Lee Cattermole in 2010 to earn three red cards in a calendar year.

Bournemouth beats punchless Chelsea to end losing streak

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Bournemouth snapped a five-match losing streak in a place that feels like home, toppling Chelsea 1-0 at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Chelsea’s attack was woeful and Bournemouth needed VAR help to get Dan Gosling‘s winner on the board.

The Blues fall for the fourth time in five league matches, and have seen their Top Four cushion slip to a maximum on five points.

Bournemouth gets some relief, rising 14th with 19 points.


Three things we learned

1. Bournemouth still loves the Bridge: Chelsea has now lost to Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge three times since 2015. The Cherries have back-to-back victories over the Blues for the first time ever. These are good things for Eddie Howe, and it was a much better show than the loss to Liverpool.

2. VAR helps Cherries to win: Gosling’s winner was a clever bit of football, the back-to-the-goal midfielder looping over Arrizabalaga. The linesman’s flag was up but Gosling had beaten the fray of people and an offside-appearing teammate had nothing to do with the play. A quality finish deserving of a winner.

3. Poor attack weakens Top Four cushion: Very poor from Chelsea’s attackers as a whole, with Willian the only players truly in-form on the day. Tammy Abraham was the best of an otherwise poor bunch, with Christian Pulisic and Mason Mount poor as starters and Callum Hudson-Odoi and Michy Batshuayi nearly irrelevant off the bench.

Frank Lampard hinted earlier this week that the club still needs to replace Eden Hazard. Transfer ban lifted, his men did little to convince him otherwise on Saturday.

Man of the Match: With respect to Simon Francis and Jefferson Lerma, the honor goes to Gosling for his creativity at outsmarting the Blues back line and beating Arrizabalaga.


Mason Mount’s sloppy touch betrayed a 26th minute Chelsea attack set up by Willian.

Christian Pulisic nearly nodded home at the back from a very tight angle in the 39th minute, one of few moments of danger for either side.

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Bournemouth regrouped at the break and Chelsea’s defenders had several strong moments in keeping shot attempts from reaching Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Pulisic led a charge into the right that led to a corner kick, and the Blues won another off a Willian shot.

Aaron Ramsdale made an incredible stop on Emerson‘s solid point-blank header of a Cesar Azpilicueta flick.

Gosling thought he’d scored in the 84th minute with a clever shot, but the offside flag was raised.

VAR fixed that, and the losing streak ended in London.