Bournemouth 1-3 Liverpool match report – Raheem Sterling inspires quarter-final win…
Liverpool produced a much improved performance to beat Championship leaders Bournemouth and earn a Capital One Cup semi-final meeting with Chelsea.
Raheem Sterling rediscovered his scoring touch to strike twice, while Lazar Markovic gave his best performance since his summer arrival from Benfica, and scored his first Reds goal mid-way through the first-half.
Despite trailing 3-0 within five minutes of the half-time interval, the home side continued with their attempts to get back into the game, and were rewarded with what proved to be a consolation from former Everton man Dan Gosling.
Gosling also hit the post as the Cherries pushed forward late on, but the introduction of Emre Can mid-way through the second-half helped sure up the Liverpool midfield, and eventually ensured a comfortable victory.
Brendan Rodgers will have been impressed with his new-look 3-4-3 formation, particularly going forward, where Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana both impressed either side of two-goal star Sterling.
However, he will still have concerns over his defence. Dejan Lovren limped off at half-time after another mixed night, while goalkeeper Brad Jones will have been disappointed with the way in which he conceded Bournemouth’s goal.
But it was Sterling who shone, opening the scoring twenty minutes in. His headed goal ended an outstanding move which comprised 52 passes – Markovic’s cross was met at the back post by Jordan Henderson, and Sterling stooped to nod home from close range.
Markovic was also involved heavily in creating his own goal, setting Coutinho up for an initial shot, before following up with a rebound after the Brazilian had been denied by Artur Boruc.
And Liverpool’s clinical finishing continued at the start of the second-half, with Sterling taking advantage of several missed chances at the other end by further extending the visitors lead. He weaved his way around Tommy Elphick before slipping the ball brilliantly into the bottom corner.
Liverpool were briefly shaken when Matt Ritchie’s cross was ushered past Skrtel and Toure by Gosling and his shot beat an unconvincing attempt to save by Jones, who was possibly left unsighted by the presence of his defenders. But the Reds held on and will no doubt be delighted to have progressed.