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Liverpool’s Top-Four Chances Take a Hit after 1-0 Defeat to Bournemouth

Bournemouth secured a crucial victory after Philip Billing's first-half goal at the Vitality Stadium. Despite Liverpool being awarded a penalty with 23 minutes left on the clock, Mohamed Salah missed the target from the 12-yard mark.

Salah's penalty miss would have a significant impact on Liverpool's fate. It prevented them from securing a top-four spot momentarily and may ultimately prove detrimental to their chances of qualifying for the Champions League.

This game was one Liverpool would have expected to win, but they left empty-handed, a result that they thoroughly deserved. Liverpool started the game with the same intensity as they did against Manchester United last week.

They were in control for long spells of the game, and many thought they would beat the Cherries by four or five goals.

Liverpool had a chance to take the lead in the sixth minute as Virgil van Dijk's powerful header looked set to find the top corner, but Jefferson Lerma diverted it.

However, Liverpool continued to press, and Bournemouth's goalkeeper, Neto, made a good save from Andy Robertson's shot moments later.

Bournemouth spotted a potential opportunity on Liverpool's right flank and duly capitalized by utilizing the speed of Dango Ouattara. Several offside calls had previously hindered his progress, but in the 28th minute, the quick and agile forward from Burkina Faso timed his run perfectly.

Ouattara latched onto a well-placed ball, allowing him to evade Virgil van Dijk, who briefly slipped, and dart towards the goal. Phillip Billing scored a much-needed goal for Bournemouth after Dango Ouattara created space on the right side and delivered a cross.

This strike from Billing was the first time Liverpool conceded a Premier League goal in 497 minutes, dating back to February 4. Following the goal, Liverpool struggled to regain their momentum, and even with Klopp's second-half changes, they could not create clear chances against a resolute Bournemouth defence.

In the 48th minute, Neto pulled off a terrific save from Diogo Jota's shot. Ibou Konate had a headed opportunity but failed to convert it. In the game's dying minutes, Cody Gakpo blasted the ball over the bar after Alisson Becker had sent one last desperate long ball forward.

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