Liverpool criminally fall apart as Fraser ices the cake for Cherries

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The second half saw a capitulation from the Merseysiders and an upturn from Eddie Howe's side, who beat the Reds for the first time in their history on Sunday


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Jurgen Klopp went from fist-pumps to spitting fury as Liverpool disintegrated from authoritative to all-over-the-place on Sunday afternoon.

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Comfortable with a 2-0 cushion at half-time and enjoying the same margin of superiority over Bournemouth at 3-1 on 75 minutes, they criminally departed the south coast with a defeat.

It was their first across all competitions since August 20 and, while they were chasing that game at Burnley, they were in cruise mode against the Cherries. 

With just 15 minutes left, Eddie Howe's men turned the match on its head and ensured that Liverpool lost theirs in a complete capitulation. 

The pre-match focus centered on the absence of Philippe Coutinho, who suffered ankle ligament damage against Sunderland, but it was the injury to Junior Stanislas in the early stages of the second half that proved decisive.

Ryan Fraser replaced the 27-year-old and won a penalty, scored one and assisted another as Bournemouth left Liverpool - missing the services of centre-back Joel Matip - down and dazed.

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The afternoon promised to end positively for the Reds after Sadio Mane and Divock Origi had them coasting on 22 minutes. The Senegal international raced through to meet a ball over the top from Emre Can. He out-paced Nathan Ake, showing more physicality than his marker too, before cleverly stabbing beyond a hesitant Artur Boruc.

Two minutes later, Mane tracked back to win possession and fed Jordan Henderson. The captain supplied Origi, who put the ball around the overcommitted home keeper and applied an incredible finish from an impossible angle to get his third goal in as many games.

Liverpool had swagger and the Bournemouth bench looked to be fearing the worst. Howe's side felt aggrieved not to have been awarded a penalty after Roberto Firmino's contact with Ake in the area but they were handed a spot-kick to spark their fightback in the second half.

James Milner fouled Fraser and Loris Karius dived the wrong way as Callum Wilson stuck the penalty but, less than 10 minutes later, Can demanded a pass off Mane before firing a fantastic first-time curler in from the edge of the box to restore Liverpool's two-goal lead. 

Milner went unbelievably close to scoring direct from a corner, with technology ruling that all of the ball did not go all over the line.

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That seemed to be the end of Bournemouth's resistance but it was actually just the start. 

Fraser struck through a crowd of bodies to floor Karius, who should have done better before then flicking towards Steve Cook. The defender's touch and turn was glorious as he found the bottom corner.

Liverpool were left shellshocked as the scoreline read 3-3. If they assumed that it could not have got worse, though, they were wrong. Karius failed to hold a Cook bullet in injury time, with Ake reacting quickest to make it count.

Bournemouth had never beaten Liverpool since 1927 but then became the first team to do so in 16 games.

There will be plenty of criticism, rightly, but the defeat should be viewed in context.

"We gave the game away because we didn't play football any more," said Klopp. Liverpool, you feel, won't be allowed to have another off afternoon like this for a while if he has anything to do with it.

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