Liverpool 1-0 Bournemouth: Christian Benteke nets winner
By Simeon Gholam
Last Updated: 18/08/15 9:07am
Christian Benteke scored his first goal for Liverpool on his home debut as Bournemouth were beaten 1-0 in controversial circumstances on Monday night.
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The Belgium international striker netted the winner from close range in the first-half, but the Cherries will feel that Philippe Coutinho should have been flagged offside in the build-up to the goal.
Eddie Howe's side would already have been feeling aggrieved after they were denied an early opener. Captain Tommy Elphick powered a header home from a corner, but was adjudged to have fouled Dejan Lovren in the process.
Liverpool become the fourth team to make it two wins out of two after the second round of Premier League games, along with fellow pace-setters Manchester City, Manchester United and Leicester.
Brendan Rodgers started with an unchanged side at Anfield after their 1-0 win at Stoke last Sunday, but it was Bournemouth who started the brighter, and they could have taken the lead inside 10 minutes.
Skipper Elphick, a boyhood Liverpool fan, leapt highest in the box to slam home a header from a corner, and was peeling away to celebrate when referee Craig Pawson blew up to disallow it for a soft foul on Lovren.
The early scare seemed to wake Liverpool up, and they soon took control of proceedings, with Coutinho in particular turning up everywhere to pull the strings in midfield.
And Coutinho was heavily involved in Benteke's winner for Liverpool, although the Brazilian was the reason it should have been ruled out, rather than being responsible for its creation.
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.
But the flag stayed down and Benteke made no mistake in following it up to prod home on his Anfield debut.
Coutinho should have made it two before the break, but after playing an inadvertent one-two with an unsuspecting Bournemouth defender, he could only fire wide when well-positioned 12 yards from goal.
Bournemouth started the second-half as positively as they'd begun the first, and both Matt Ritchie and Eunan O'Kane both shot wide when they had chances to level the score.
But the Cherries never really tested Simon Mignolet, and it was Liverpool who went the closest to scoring again when Benteke was denied a second after rattling the bar in the dying stages.
Liverpool: Mignolet (6), Clyne (6), Lovren (6), Skrtel (6), Gomez (6), Milner (7), Henderson (7), Coutinho (8), Lallana (5), Ibe (6), Benteke (8)
Subs: Can (6), Firmino (5), Moreno (5)
Bournemouth: Boruc (6), Francis (6), Cook (6), Elphick (7), Daniels (5), Surman (6), Gradel (5), King (5), Ritchie (7), O'Kane (6), Wilson (5)
Subs: Tomlin (5), Smith (5), Gosling (5)
Man of the match: Christian Benteke