LONDON : Liverpool came crashing down to earth as Bournemouth stunned Juergen Klopp’s side with a 1-0 victory to move off the bottom and out of the Premier League’s relegation zone on Saturday.
Victory would have lifted Liverpool temporarily into fourth place but instead it was Philip Billing’s goal that settled the contest in favour of Bournemouth as the south coast side avenged a 9-0 hammering at Anfield earlier this season.
Tottenham Hotspur then took full advantage of Liverpool’s slip-up as they lifted the gloom of a dismal 10 days to beat Nottingham Forest 3-1 at home thanks to Harry Kane’s double.
Tottenham, who exited the FA Cup and Champions League and lost to Wolverhampton Wanderers in the league in their last three games, cemented themselves in fourth place with 48 points from 27 games with Liverpool on 42 from a game less.
Chelsea’s resurgence continued as they made it three consecutive wins in all competitions with a 3-1 victory at Leicester City who have now lost four league games in a row to leave manager Brendan Rodgers under pressure.
Everton eased their relegation fears as they became the first side to beat Brentford in the league since October – Dwight McNeil’s goal after 35 seconds sealing the points.
Leeds United twice came from a goal down to draw 2-2 at home to in-form Brighton and Hove Albion, although they ended the day back in the bottom three.
Southampton, who face third-placed Manchester United on Sunday are bottom with 21 points from 25 games with Leeds in 19th place on 23 points, the same as West Ham United who are in action against Aston Villa on Sunday.
Everton are up to 15th with 25 points, ahead of Leicester and Bournemouth who have 24.
Manchester City can close the gap on leaders Arsenal to two points in the late kickoff at Crystal Palace.
Liverpool’s record 7-0 hammering of Manchester United last weekend was expected to be followed up with another three points against a struggling Bournemouth side.
Three goals would have seen Liverpool equal the Premier League record of 12 goals against a single club in one season.
But Bournemouth had other ideas and resisted some early pressure before Billing steered home in the 28th minute.
Mohamed Salah blazed a second-half penalty wide for Liverpool and Bournemouth held on for a precious win.
“The game was pretty much the opposite of what we wanted to show and to do today,” a frustrated Klopp said.
“I think we played for pretty much 95 minutes the game Bournemouth wanted to play and a few minutes maybe, a few moments, we did the stuff we wanted to do.”
Tottenham’s season appeared to be fizzling out after a 0-0 draw with AC Milan on Wednesday sent them out of the Champions League to leave huge doubts about whether manager Antonio Conte would even last until the end of the season.
But they responded positively with Kane’s header in the 19th minute and a 35th-minute penalty putting them in control against a Forest side who offered little until it was too late.
Kane has now reached 20 goals in at least six Premier League campaigns, something only Alan Shearer and Sergio Aguero had previously managed.
Son Heung-min was also on target for Tottenham who suddenly look well-placed to claim fourth spot for the second successive season under Conte.
Chelsea remain in 10th place but the pressure is lifting off Graham Potter after goals by Ben Chilwell, Kai Havertz and Mateo Kovacic earned them the points at Leicester.
“Three wins in the week at this level is very pleasing. Now we have to follow that up with a win next weekend,” Potter said.