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 By Will Kent

Josh King, Benik Afobe help efficient Bournemouth steal a point at Anfield

Stewart Robson and Craig Burley lament Liverpool's defensive structure after they gave up a late equaliser against Bournemouth.

Despite barely having a shot in the second half, the Cherries battled brilliantly as a unit throughout and they took their limited chances in pleasing style to claim a draw. They did admittedly surrender 67 percent of the ball to their opponents, but the only statistic that counts is the 2-2 score line which will please everyone at the club. Onwards and upwards for the next match against Chelsea.

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Positives

Battling it out and coming from behind away from home to earn a point against Liverpool shows yet again the fighting spirit and character within this Bournemouth side. Slowly but surely they are edging closer to survival. Seeing both Josh King and Benik Afobe on the score sheet again is great news as well. They seem to have struck up a dangerous partnership of which Eddie Howe will hope continues.

Negatives

The Cherries allowed Jurgen Klopp's side to fire off 20 shots at Artur Boruc in goal and perhaps if they were more ruthless with their finishing they would have punished the south coast side quite heavily. There's clearly still work to do in defence. Other than that, Jordon Ibe had another forgettable game and his future at the club does admittedly look in doubt.

Manager rating out of 10

9 -- Howe's faith in playing a 4-4-2 against Liverpool at Anfield was an incredibly risky move but it paid off with a point. Simon Francis constantly on corner duty is still bizarre though.     

Player ratings: (1-10; 10=best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Artur Boruc, 7 -- Looked confident in between the sticks and his great last-minute save to deny Ragnar Klavan's header proved he can handle the pressure which is something he's been questioned over this season. Good performance.

DF Adam Smith, 6 -- Partly at fault for Liverpool's first goal with some lacklustre marking but Smith made amends with his constant work rate in both attack and defence.

DF Simon Francis, 6 -- Did seem to have trouble with Divock Origi's quick feet but other than that it was an assured performance from the Cherries skipper.

DF Steve Cook, 7 -- Yet again another resilient and reliable performance in the heart of Bournemouth's defence. He is the first to every header and has been the player of the season so far by a long way.

DF Charlie Daniels, 7 -- A persistent attacking threat who regularly found joy down Liverpool's right flank. His cross in the 21st minute to find Afobe in the box was superb.

MF Jordon Ibe, 5 -- It was an ineffective return to Anfield for the 21-year-old who was rightly subbed off for Ryan Fraser.

MF Jack Wilshere, 6 -- The Arsenal loanee battled well in midfield and showed a more dogged side to his game. However, he struggled to hold on to the ball for Bournemouth which is partly why they had such little possession.

Bournemouth fans go wild after Josh King's leveller.
Josh King's later heroics earned Bournemouth a gritty point and made it eight goals in eight games for the Norwegian.

MF Harry Arter, 7 -- Instilled his usual high pressing game on the Liverpool midfield which reaped dividends as it contributed a lot in his side earning a point

MF Marc Pugh, 6 -- Posed a threat on occasion and put in his fair share of defensive work. His 22ndminute volley should have at least hit the target if not the back of the net.

FW Josh King, 8 -- He scored his 12th goal of the season and is enjoying a lot more success up front playing in a partnership with Afobe. His pace constantly stretched Liverpool's defence and overall it was another standout performance from the Norwegian international.

FW Benik Afobe, 7 -- Took his goal well and repaid Eddie Howe's faith in him after a rather useless display against Southampton in the previous match. Afobe clearly has a lot of talent but it's just about extracting it on a more regular basis.

Substitutes

MF Ryan Fraser, 5 -- Offered an attacking outlet down the wing but the biggest moment from his 30 minute stint was receiving a yellow card.

MF Max Gradel, N/R -- Came on too late to have a real impact on proceedings.

Will Kent is a freelance journalist who has worked for AFC Bournemouth, ESPN UK and ESPN FC, among others. Twitter: @WillKentSPORT

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