It’s two matches and two wins for Liverpool as the Anfield outfit recorded another narrow win yesterday with new-boy Christian Benteke bagging his first competitive goal since moving to Merseyside last month – something that has obviously delighted boss Brendan Rodgers.
Benteke’s goal, during which Philippe Coutinho played for the ball and missed, despite being in an offside position, would have been permitted last season, but under this term’s amended application of the laws it should have been ruled out.
Liverpool will now travel to the Emirates stadium to take on Arsenal on Monday. The problem tonight is that if that’s not offside, that’s the clearest example that you’ll see of the new rule.
Not since 2010 have Liverpool lost a Premier League game when winning at half-time but they were given a stern examination by the Cherries, who continued to play with a sense of enterprise, albeit without overly troubling their opponent’s goal, throughout the second half.
Bournemouth continued to enjoy some good possession but struggled to fashion any more clear openings, while Matt Ritchie’s wayward pass teed up Benteke 25 yards from goal in the 25th minute but he fired his effort just wide.
“It’s been a hugely frustrating night”.
Christian Benteke’s controversial 26th minute goal condemned the south coast newcomers to a 1-0 defeat but they were entitled to feel hard done by. Elphick was aggressive but if that was a free kick then there will be fouls at every corner. We had a few chances, the big positive is our performance, we know if we keep performing like that the results and goals will come.
In fact Liverpool were extremely grateful for referee Craig Pawson getting the game’s two major decisions wrong. “Coutinho was past our line and tried to get the ball”.
“The offside ruling was changed again and it adds confusion”, the Reds manager admitted. We were assured it wouldn’t be a goal and the rule would be adhered to correctly. “I don’t think that is a tough one“.
Rodgers said: “I thought he was a real handful”.
There seemed to be another moment of discontent when Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson seemed unhappy at being substituted early in the second half, but Rodgers explained he was carrying an injury. His hold-up play is outstanding and has a wonderful touch for a big guy.