Liverpool Edges Bournemouth

Bournemouth’s second game in the top tier of English football ended in a 1-0 defeat at Anfield as a controversial Christian Benteke goal proved to be enough to earn Brendan Rodgers’ men the three points on Monday.  It was the Cherries who started the game on a more positive note and should have been in the lead in the fourth minute, but it was ruled that Tommy Elphick had not contested fairly for the ball as his header went into the back of the net.  In the 25th minute it was the Reds who would take the lead against the run of play as Benteke sneaked in at the far post to tap in a well-placed Jordan Henderson cross.

The goal would be awarded under controversial circumstances as television replays showed that Philippe Coutinho had been in an offside position and attempted to play the ball.  FIFA Laws of the Game state that a player in an offside position is only penalised if, at the moment the ball touches or is played by one of his team, he is, in the opinion of the referee, involved in active play by interfering with play, interfering with an opponent or gaining an advantage by being in that position.  In the 43rd minute all eyes were on the Brazilian again as he battled through the away defence and shot narrowly wide as the last meaningful act of the half.

The second stanza started in a similar manner to the first with Eddie Howe’s side on the attack and they came close to equalising as the ball sailed over the top of Simon Mignolet’s crossbar with only five minutes remaining.  Four minutes later the hosts would come close to scoring as Benteke connected with a James Milner cross only for it to hit the top of the crossbar.  The Merseysiders now move into third place while the newly-promoted club remains 19th.

Goal Scorer: Benteke 25′

Teams

Liverpool team: Mignolet, Clyne, Lovren, Skrtel, Gomez, Henderson (Can 52), Milner, Coutinho (Moreno 81), Lallana, Ibe (Firminho 70), Benteke.

Substitutes: Bogdan, Toure, Moreno, Can, Firmino, Origi, Ings.

Bournemouth team: Boruc, Francis, Elphick, Cook, Daniels, Ritchie, O’Kane (Gosling 87), Surman, Gradel (Smith 81), King (Tomlin 61), Wilson. 
Substitutes: Federici, Smith, Distin, Mings, Gosling, Pugh, Tomlin.