by Dan Davis (@dan_davis20)
AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe told the media there hadn’t been many days he had felt so disappointed, after his side’s 4-0 demolition by Liverpool on Sunday.
Jurgen Klopp’s men came to the Vitality Stadium on an eight match unbeaten streak, and ruthlessly put the Cherries to the sword with a magnificent attacking display.
Phillipe Coutinho opened the scoring after surging into the penalty area, shrugging off Simon Francis and drilling into the bottom corner. Dejan Lovren grabbed a second minutes later, when he nodded home after Roberto Firmino’s cross from the byline.
Any hopes of a Cherries comeback, similar to the improbable turnaround from the same fixture last season, were quickly dashed when Mohamed Salah danced into the box before finishing past Asmir Begovic. Firmino then nodded home from Coutinho’s cross to round off the score and send Howe’s side even closer to the drop zone.
When asked about his side’s performance, the Bournemouth boss said: “I think it’s an understatement to say that was a tough one to take.
“There’s not been many times as Bournemouth manager that I’ve felt like this after match.
“In football management it happens though, we’re extremely disappointed but it’s how we respond, that’s the key thing.
“I think the performance was down to a combination of things, when you don’t perform well against the top sides it becomes difficult.”
Despite the scintillating display from Jurgen Klopp’s side, the Cherries put in a noticeably below-par performance and are now one point above the relegation zone.
But Eddie Howe said he refused to turn against his players, and explained that he would be keeping the faith: “The squad feel the responsibility of course.
“You’ll never get me criticising my players in public, or losing faith in them. That will never happen, we’re in a difficult situation we’re well aware of our position.
“It’s a misconception that we’re not in a relegation battle, we’re in our third season now and we’re under no illusions.”
A disappointing night on the South Coast for Bournemouth was topped off by injuries for Joshua King and Charlie Daniels.
“We don’t know the situation with either player, it’s a huge worry though regarding Charlie Daniels and Joshua King.” Howe explained. “It was a hamstring injury with King and a groin injury for Daniels so we’re not sure at the moment.”
Callum Wilson was a key absentee from the match day squad, but Howe said he wasn’t a long term doubt: “Wilson had an injection in his knee for a really minute problem. It’s nothing serious.”
The Cherries now look ahead to their Carabao Cup quarter-final tie with Chelsea on Wednesday, before an away trip to runaway leaders Manchester City this weekend.