Eddie Howe: Bournemouth's 'Championship spirit' inspired win over Liverpool

Steve Cook
Steve Cook's goal was his second of the season in the Premier League

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe believes the "Championship spirit" from his players inspired their incredible comeback victory over Liverpool.

The Cherries were 3-1 down but fought back to claim a dramatic 4-3 win with an injury-time goal from Nathan Ake.

"It shows we still have that spirit of a Championship team," said Howe, who guided Bournemouth into the top flight.

"When we got promotion we didn't want to lose our honesty, togetherness and never-say-die attitude."

Howe said the win was a "huge day" that he wouldn't forget and that he was proud his players had retained the character he fostered from their days in the lower leagues.

"We needed to protect that. If anything we've enhanced it," Howe added.

Comparisons were immediately drawn with last season's home match against Liverpool's Merseyside rivals Everton, who had led 2-0, only for Bournemouth to make it 3-3 in the eighth minute of stoppage time.

"It's right up there with the Everton game," Howe said.

"We were in real trouble at half-time [when they trailed 2-0], as Liverpool were excellent and showed their quality, but our players never lost their self-belief.

"For everyone involved with the club, it's a very special day. We'd never been in the Premier League until last season so we're making history."

Media playback is not supported on this device

Bournemouth 4-3 Liverpool: We never gave up - Eddie Howe

The 'Wee Man' is Cherries' unlikely hero

Bournemouth's inspiration was Scotland Under-21 winger Ryan Fraser, who put in a man-of-the-match display after he came on for the injured Junior Stanislas in the 55th minute.

Within a minute of his introduction Fraser was bundled over for a penalty that Callum Wilson converted, before he scored the Cherries' second, and crossed for Steve Cook to add a third as the hosts set up a grandstand finish.

"Ryan was absolutely magnificent," said Howe. "He's trained like that for the last three or four weeks and has been patient and waited for his chance."

Fraser first burst on the scene as a teenager with Aberdeen, before eyebrows were raised when he swapped the Scottish Premier League for England's lower divisions, joining Bournemouth in January 2013.

"As a very young player, he had to come a long way from home and come to a League One club. So it was a leap of faith and it's paid dividends for him," Howe added.

"We call him the 'Wee Man' - I heard the crowd singing his name which was nice - but he's got fitter and fitter since he's been with us. His physicality can be a strength as he has a low centre of gravity, and it was a great finish for his goal."

Klopp calm despite late collapse

Media playback is not supported on this device

'It's a nice story, it's a pity we were on wrong side'

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was philosophical afterwards, despite his side's implosion to lose a game which they had completely controlled for the first half.

"Even at 2-0 up, we weren't playing too well - the first half wasn't perfect. We kept the ball too long, and passed it too late," the German said.

"Nothing was decided at 2-0. The boys know now we gave it away - it was only because of us that Bournemouth came back. We opened the door, but Bournemouth had to run through it. It's a wonderful story if you're not on the wrong side of it. But we have to accept it and learn from it.

"We are not ice skating - it's not about how it looks. I know we can play football. Nothing happened today apart from losing three points. Everything else is OK.

"I'm not happy, but I am not angry. We made mistakes and missed chances, but I cannot change it any more so why should I be angry?"

Klopp also played down a second-half incident, when he appeared to be warned by referee Bobby Madley after tempers flared in the technical areas.

"There was no issue with Bournemouth. I was, not surprisingly, not happy about the penalty decision," he said.

"It was not possible for me to do nothing but obviously I did too much. I left my box and that was the issue."

Social media reaction

Jack Wilshere twitter
On-loan Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere spoke in glowing terms about Bournemouth's spirit
Steve Cook Twitter
Defender Steve Cook ranks the win as his greatest in a Bournemouth shirt.
Callum Wilson twitter
Cherries striker Callum Wilson, who scored from the penalty spot, needed plenty of emojis.
Arthur Boruc tweet
Goalkeeper Artur Boruc let three goals in, but hailed his Bournemouth colleagues.

Top Stories