Want to see a team implode in 20 minutes? Then watch a replay of Liverpool’s epic self-destruction on Sunday afternoon.
Jurgen Klopp’s men were cruising at 3-1 but somehow snatched defeat from the claws of victory, conceding three goals in the final 20 minutes to throw it all away.
Credit to Bournemouth, of course. This was Roy of the Rovers stuff, a day the locals will talk about for decades.
Nathan Ake scored a late winner as Bournemouth came from behind to shock Liverpool
Ake runs away in celebration after helping Bournemouth overturn a two-goal deficit against the Reds
Eddie Howe salutes the home support after his side claimed a remarkable victory on the south coast
MATCH FACTS, PLAYER RATINGS, PREMIER LEAGUE TABLE AND MATCH ZONE;
Bournemouth (4-2-3-1): Boruc 4.5; Francis 5, Cook 7.5, Ake 8, A.Smith 4.5; Arter 6.5, Gosling 5.5 (Afobe 75mins, 6.5); Stanislas 6.5 (Fraser 55, 8.5), Wilshere 7.5, King 5 (Ibe 46, 6.5); Wilson 7
Unused subs: Federici, Pugh, B.Smith, Mings
Booked: Wilshere, Francis
Goal: Wilson 56 (pen), Fraser 76, Cook 78, Ake 90
Manager: Eddie Howe 7.5
Liverpool (4-3-3): Karius 3.5; Clyne 6.5, Lovren 4, Lucas 4.5, Milner 5; Wijnaldum 5, Henderson 7, Can 7; Mane 8 (Lallana 69, 6.5), Origi 7, Firmino 6
Unused subs: Mignolet, Klavan, Moreno, Ejaria, Woodburn, Alexander-Arnold
Booked: Henderson, Can
Goals: Mane 20, Origi 22, Can 64
Manager: Jurgen Klopp 6
Referee: Bobby Madley 7
Man of the match: Ryan Fraser
The build-up to Divock Origi’s superb goal at the Vitality Stadium
But Liverpool, courtesy of some awful defending, only have themselves to blame.
The Merseysiders’ defensive deficiencies shouldn’t detract at all from this spellbinding comeback, though.
And manager Eddie Howe must take his fair share of the adulation for Sunday’s unforgettable scenes, one substitution in particular inspiring his team to this unlikeliest of wins.
Liverpool manager Klopp won’t have known much about Bournemouth’s diminutive Scottish forward Ryan Fraser before the game.
Sadio Mane continued his impressive form by opening the scoring for Liverpool as the Reds
The Senegal international latched on to a through-ball from Emre Can before poking the ball past Artur Boruc in the first half
Mane wheels away in celebration after opening the scoring for Jurgen Klopp’s side at the Vitality on Sunday afternoon
Liverpool midfielder Can congratulates his team-mate Mane midway through the first half
He certainly knows a thing or two about him now, Fraser coming off the bench to have a hand in three of Bournemouth goals before Nathan Ake bundled home in injury time after Loris Karius’ horrendous howler.
In short: Incredible.
The big question before kick-off was how Liverpool would deal without their magician Philippe Coutinho, who won’t play for six weeks with an ankle injury.
And for 45 minutes it was a case of no Coutinho, no problem from the Reds.
Origi scored a superb long-range goal minutes later as Liverpool looked on course to beat the Cherries
Origi rounded Bournemouth goalkeeper Boruc before finishing calmly from a tight angle
Origi started the match well for Liverpool and grabbed a deserved goal from a tight angle
The 21-year-old striker points to the sky after doubling Liverpool’s lead after Mane’s opening goal
Divock Origi missed a glorious opportunity to open the scoring in the 10th minute, contorting his right foot into a position to slot home instead of tapping in from five yards with his left.
He managed to himself into a terrible twist before firing wide when it would have been easier to score.
Howe was in his technical area encouraging and gesticulating to his players, but they couldn’t get near Liverpool.
So there was an air of inevitability when Klopp’s side took the lead. The only surprise was that it took so long.
Bournemouth were handed a route back into the match when James Milner brought down Ryan Fraser inside the area
Callum Wilson stepped up to take the resulting penalty and calmly converted it past Loris Karius to reduce Liverpool’s lead
Wilson celebrates his successful penalty with former Liverpool winger Jordon Ibe as the Cherries were handed a lifeline
Latching on to Emre Can’s exquisite 30 yard pass, Sadio Mane rode Ake’s challenge before delicately finishing past Artur Boruc.
The finish was sumptuous, but Can’s pass was even better. Utterly clinical. Bournemouth weren’t at the races. Second best to everything.
And it took Liverpool just two minutes to double their advantage. Howe will point his finger at midfielder Harry Arter for losing possession to Mane, and Boruc for inexplicably rushing out of his area in the build-up to the goal.
But Origi’s finish was cut-throat. Brilliantly ruthless, running onto Jordan Henderson’s pass to glide past Boruc – before firing home from a tight angle without a thought to even slow his stride.
Can then restored Liverpool’s two-goal advantage with a magnificent strike from outside the area in the second half
The Germany international celebrates his goal with Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson
Bournemouth mustered a response before the break, Josh King seeing his near-post shot saved by Karius in the 36th minute.
And the Cherries were furious they weren’t awarded a penalty from the resultant corner as Ake fell in the box under a Roberto Firmino challenge.
Referee Bobby Madley instantly waved down Ake’s claims and replays show he just about made the correct call.
Second half substitute Ryan Fraser then came off the bench to pull a goal back for Bournemouth from inside the area
Henderson carries the ball back to the halfway line as Liverpool threatened to throw away their lead in the Premier League
Fraser celebrates his goal while Callum Wilson retrieves the ball as Bournemouth continued to push for a late equaliser
There was slight contact, but not enough for Ake to go down as theatrically as he did. You couldn’t blame the Dutch defender, though. His side needed all the help they could get.
If they deserved any help was another matter, however. As much as Liverpool were thrilling, Bournemouth were inadequate. Something had to change for Howe’s team in the second half. The manager introduced Jordon Ibe, who left Liverpool in the summer, in place of King in a bid to invigorate his team at half-time.
But it was Howe’s second substitution that sparked the chaos that was about to follow, Fraser replacing Junior Stanislas, who’d suffered a foot injury, in the 54th minute.
Steve Cook equalised for Bournemouth just minutes later – stabbing home from close range to draw the two sides level
Cook is swamped by his team-mates after stabbing home a deserved equaliser for Howe’s men at the Vitality Stadium
Fraser’s introduction paid instant dividends; his first contribution was to win his team penalty within seconds of coming on after being tripped by James Milner.
The look on Milner’s face said it all. What was he playing at? Klopp was asking himself the same thing before Callum Wilson sent Karius the wrong way.
But their glee was short-lived as Liverpool notched a third in the 64th minute. Mane powered his way down the right before finding Can, who stroked home almost nonchalantly into the top right corner to regain Liverpool’s two-goal cushion.
Ake capitalised on a mistake from Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius to slot home the winner two minutes into extra time
Bournemouth, though, refused to throw in the towel as they embarked on breathtaking fightback, with Fraser leading the charge.
The Cherries substitute provided Bournemouth with a glimmer of hope in the 76th minute, completing a move that included Jack Wilshere and Wilson after Origi had lost possession inside his own half.
The home support were sensing Liverpool were on the ropes. And they were right as Bournemouth drew level in the 78th minute.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp looks on in disbelief after watching his side blow a two-goal advantage
Once more Fraser was the instigator, Steve Cook expertly controlling his cross before rifling past Karius to send the Vitality Stadium into a frenzy.
But three minutes into injury time, the home support were in dreamland.
Karius should have held on to Cook’s long range effort. But, inexplicably, he didn’t. The rest will go down in Bournemouth folklore as Ake pounced on the loose ball to hammer home.
A day no one will forget – as much as Liverpool will try to.