BOURNEMOUTH: Liverpool’s Premier League title challenge suffered an unexpected setback as they squandered a 3-1 lead to lose 4-3 at Bournemouth on an astonishing day the south coast club will never forget.
Jurgen Klopp’s side missed out on a chance to go second in the Premier League and instead remain four points behind leaders Chelsea after their incredible meltdown in the last 14 minutes at Dean Court on Sunday.
It was also a day when the romance and passion of English football was at its very best.
Bournemouth, who were playing in the fourth tier of English football as recently as six years ago, had never beaten Liverpool in nine previous meetings in all competitions dating back to 1927; in fact you have to rewind to 1968 to even find a draw.
But after excellent goals from Sadio Mane, Divock Origi and Emre Can appeared to put Klopp’s team in control, Bournemouth produced a stunning, high octane comeback culminating in a stoppage-time winner for Nathan Ake.
Ake pounced on a fumble by goalkeeper Loris Karius to grab the winner in the third minute of injury time, handing title- chasing Liverpool their first loss since Aug 20.
Senegal international Mane and Belgian striker Origi, starting a league game for the first time this season, established a 2-0 lead for the visitors midway through the first half.
Callum Wilson halved the deficit from a penalty 11 minutes into the second half, but within seven minutes, Can’s fine effort from the edge of the penalty area restored the two-goal cushion.
It was snatched away, however, in stunning fashion with three Bournemouth goals in the last 20 minutes.
Substitute Ryan Fraser and defender Steve Cook scored in the space of three minutes to bring Bournemouth level and in added time Chelsea loanee Ake grabbed a stunning winner.
ARSENAL UP TO SECOND
Liverpool’s loss meant Arsenal stayed second on 31 points, three behind Chelsea, after they romped to a 5-1 victory at West Ham United in Saturday’s late match thanks to Chile forward Alexis Sanchez’s 15-minute hat-trick in the second half.
Arsene Wenger’s side struck in the 24th minute when Angelo Ogbonna was caught in possession and Sanchez seized on the loose ball to set up Mesut Ozil, who tapped into the empty net.
Chile forward Sanchez got the second in the 72nd minute with a brilliant individual effort and netted again eight minutes later with a low strike from outside the area.
West Ham substitute Andy Carroll struck in the 81st minute, only for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to smash in Arsenal’s fourth moments later.
Sanchez completed his treble with a deft 86th-minute effort as Arsenal extended their unbeaten league run to 13 matches.
“Sanchez can always give you something special. He’s a fighter and a classy player. You don’t find many like him,” Wenger said. “I believe we are on a strong run and it’s down to us to be mentally ready to maintain that run.”
West Ham lost central defender James Collins in the opening minutes, causing a change of formation and extending an absentee list that grew this week with injuries to Diafra Sakho, Aaron Cresswell and Michail Antonio, and are now one point above the relegation zone.
BIG WIN FOR SPURS
Also on Saturday, Tottenham Hotspur stayed fifth after a 5-0 thrashing of Swansea City featured another Harry Kane double.
Mauricio Pochettino’s team suffered their first league defeat of the season at Chelsea last weekend, but they won for just the second time in their last seven league games after opening the scoring in the 39th minute.
England forward Kane drilled in the penalty after Kyle Naughton was harshly ruled to have fouled Dele Alli. A superb acrobatic volley from Son Heung-min doubled Tottenham’s lead just before half-time and ended the South Korean’s 10-match goal drought.
Kane struck again four minutes after the interval and Christian Eriksen claimed Tottenham’s final two goals in the 70th and 90th minutes, meaning the respite was brief for Swansea’s American coach, Bob Bradley.
A week after finally earning his first win in charge of the Welsh club, Bradley’s side returned to the bottom of the 20-team standings.
The plight of champions Leicester City worsened with a 2-1 defeat at Sunderland that leaves them two points above a bunching relegation zone in what is turning out to be one of the worst title defences in the top flight.
A Robert Huth own goal and an expert finish by Jermain Defoe saw Sunderland home as they climbed to 11 points, within two of Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester and two clear of bottom club Swansea.
“From the own goal you can see the luck is not with us but we have to stay compact, stay together and react strongly,” Ranieri said.
Crystal Palace beat Southampton 3-0 thanks to two goals by Christian Benteke and another by James Tomkins, ending a run of six straight losses that had heaped pressure on manager Alan Pardew.
West Bromwich Albion won 3-1 at home to Watford and climbed into sixth place. Stoke City beat Burnley 2-0.
courtesy: dawn news