The breakdown of Liverpool’s attacking thirds highlights Ibe’s quiet display on the left flank. For Bournemouth, it is played two, conceded two, lost two.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers backed new signing Christian Benteke to transform his side’s play after the former Aston Villa striker’s goal secured a 1-0 victory over promoted Bournemouth.
Benteke scored the victor for Liverpool at Anfield in the 26th minute but – under new regulations introduced this season – Philippe Coutinho should have been flagged offside for his own attempt to connect with Jordan Henderson’s cross. That is the clearest example of the new rule you will see.
Aside from a spell of dominance either side of the goal, the Reds lacked fluency, although Benteke nearly grabbed a second late on with a deflected shot onto the bar.
Elphick rose above Dejan Lovren to head home from a corner, but the Bournemouth captain was deemed to have impeded the Croatian defender in climbing for the ball, prompting referee Craig Pawson to award Liverpool a free-kick. “There are a lot of new players that have come into the club, and it will take them a little bit of time to bed in”.
“He’s had a problem with the bottom of his foot”, the manager told reporters in his post-match press conference.
The decision to change the particulars of the offside law had plenty of people sympathising with the officials… Even there, though, Benteke was looking for positives.
“The win is all that counts, and our three points are important”, Skrtel said, per LiverpoolFC.com “I am also happy that we kept a clean sheet again“.
“Because of his physicality and contact, he keeps the ball alive in a risky area of the field”, the Northern Irishman added. You see him linking and combining.
“From a goalkeepers point of view; moving either towards or away from the ball. any player within the width of the goal is affecting play,”tweeted Leicester City’s Kasper Schmeichel. It’s two big decisions that have gone against us and we’ve ultimately been punished by that”.
The goal lifted the hosts and they nearly grabbed a second just before the half-hour when Henderson hit a speculative strike from outside the area which dipped just over Artur Boruc’s crossbar. But it was the minimum we should have been expecting, being able to grind out scrappy 1-0 wins is an ability any team competing for European places should have.