Christian Benteke’s first half goal ensured Liverpool continued their winning start to the new Premier League campaign as they recorded a slim victory over Bournemouth.
The £32.5 million summer signing opened his Liverpool account in fortunate circumstances as his tap in from close range was allowed to stand, despite Philippe Coutinho appearing to violate new offside rules by attempting to play the ball in an offside position and, in turn, misleading Artur Boruc in the Bournemouth goal.
Benteke’s goal marked an unlucky and frustrating night for Bournemouth, with Tommy Elphick’s headed effort from a corner early on being wrongly disallowed after referee Craig Pawson ruled that the defender had fouled Dejan Lovren.
Eddie Howe’s side were impressive throughout however lacked conviction in the final third with Matt Ritchie coming closest as his second half strike skimmed Simon Mignolet’s goal post.
While the Premier League new boys put in a spirited and confident display, it was Christian Benteke’s night with the Belgian coming close to scoring his second of the game only to strike the cross bar late on following a Liverpool counter attack.
Liverpool owner John W Henry watched on as his team’s new number nine put in a strong performance, dominating the opposition defence aerially while also demonstrating his ability with the ball at his feet with some promising link up play with Philippe Coutinho.
In a game of few clear cut chances, Bournemouth refused to shy away from the passing style they were praised for last season, proving they are up for the challenge that the Premier League holds for them.
Brendan Rodgers, on the other hand, can take pleasure from a second consecutive clean sheet though he will be fully aware that their remains room for improvement in both attack and defence.
Two wins out of two for Liverpool represents the all-important strong start to the season that people have been talking about. As for Bournemouth, they face a big test in being able to secure their first win in the top league having been quickly introduced to the high standards of the Premier League following two losses in a row.