So, in this case, an offside player has contributed to a goal being scored – even though he didn’t touch the ball – and the referee should have disallowed the goal.
Reds captain Jordan Henderson whipped the ball in from the left and Coutinho, who was coming back from an offside position, made a motion towards it, which, under the new rules for this season, meant he was affecting play.
Following his first Liverpool goal, new signing Christian Benteke was in a celebratory mood, but he was more interested in the positive team result than claiming any personal glory. In my time here, that hasn’t really happened.
“He can help the ball on into areas, he can take the ball in, control the game, switch the game, his touch was good and you could see him linking and combining”. A yard and a half offside and he is clearly impacting the goalkeeper. “I think it is just time”.
Bournemouth had started well and they were denied a goal a minute later when Tommy Elphick got up to head in a right-wing corner from close range, but his joy was cut short when referee Craig Pawson harshly ruled it out for a foul on Dejan Lovren.
Henderson, Steven Gerrard’s successor as skipper, grazed the bar with an improvised shot from distance and was then unfortunate not to win a penalty for a barge by Max-Alain Gradel, while Coutinho curled a loose ball wastefully wide. “That cannot be a free kick, no way”. “It gives us a different dimension to our game and the fluency will come”.
Howe felt his side had discovered how tough it can be to get contentious decisions at high profile venues.
The 24-year-old put in an impressive display in the 1-0 win over Bournemouth on Monday evening, as the Reds continued their winning start to 2015/16. On one hand I am very proud of the players’ performances and how they were fearless enough to go toe-to-toe with Liverpool.
‘Now we have six points and we want to keep going and work hard, ‘ he said. “The interpretation of offside changes every season”.
The manager said at his post-match press conference: “He’s had a problem with the bottom of his foot”.
On Monday Bournemouth travel to Anfield to challenge Liverpool, whose manager Brendan Rodgers shares a similar reputation for encouraging attacking football and whom Howe has already described as a “role model”.