Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe hailed man of the match Ryan Fraser as an “outstanding talent” after the Scotland Under-21 winger inspired his side’s fightback in an amazing 4-3 win over Liverpool.
The Cherries had trailed 2-0 and 3-1, but battled back to complete an astonishing victory, with former Aberdeen youngster Fraser playing a pivotal role at the Vitality Stadium.
Goals from Sadio Mane and Divock Origi had Liverpool ahead at the break and the points still seemed to be heading back to Merseyside when Emre Can’s strike restored their two-goal advantage following Callum Wilson’s penalty.
But Fraser, who had come off the bench to win the spot-kick, then buried his maiden Premier League goal before crossing for Steve Cook to superbly equalise, with Nathan Ake bundling home a last-gasp winner as Loris Karius failed to hold another Cook effort.
Afterwards Howe was full of praise for 22-year-old Fraser. “I believe Ryan’s an outstanding talent,” he said. “He’s been training very well for a number of weeks – he’s deserved the opportunity he got today. The pleasing thing for me is that he’s come on and taken it.
“He looked razor sharp, he had a big impact on the game and I’m delighted for him.
“Technically and tactically he’s excellent, it was a great finish for his goal and this will do him the world of good.”
Fraser, who first caught the eye as a teenager at Aberdeen before making the surprise switch to Bournemouth in January 2013 when they were in League One, has had to bide his time for playing opportunities in the top flight. He spent last season on loan at Championship side Ipswich and fellow goalscorer Cook praised the winger for grasping his chance yesterday.
Cook said: “Wee man [Fraser] was outstanding when he came on today and it shows how strong this squad is.
“He’s really grown as a person and has grown into the squad. We know what he’s about and he’s a great footballer. I’m delighted for him because he hasn’t played as much football as he would have liked but today he’s really taken his chance and won the game for us.”
It was a first victory over Liverpool in Bournemouth’s history and took the Cherries into the top half of the standings.
“I don’t think I’ll ever forget this one,” said Howe, pictured.
“It was a real contrast of emotions. Right up there with the Everton game last year where we were really poor for the first part and came back for a point [a 3-3 draw]. At half-time we were in real trouble. Liverpool were excellent. We weren’t very good. So that makes the comeback all the more impressive.”
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp refused to blow his top at his players despite the fact they twice relinquished two-goal leads.
“I’m not angry,” he said. “I was angry during the game a few times, but I saw that my boys didn’t want to do the wrong thing, but they did and lost the momentum in the game, and it’s not simple to come back.”