Premier League
Liverpool1Bournemouth0

Liverpool 1-0 Bournemouth

Media playback is not supported on this device

Liverpool 1-0 Bournemouth: Christian Benteke was excellent - Brendan Rodgers

Christian Benteke's controversial winner on his Anfield debut ensured Liverpool maintained their 100% start to the new season with an unconvincing victory over Premier League newcomers Bournemouth.

Liverpool's £32.5m summer signing from Aston Villa turned home from close range in front of the Kop after 26 minutes - but Philippe Coutinho was clearly offside as he also tried to reach Jordan Henderson's cross.

Liverpool v Bournemouth
Philippe Coutinho tried to make things happen all match and his touch map shows a constant supply of ammunition for Christian Benteke

It meant a second successive narrow defeat for Bournemouth, who showed plenty of confidence and promise and were also frustrated when Tommy Elphick's early header was ruled out by referee Craig Pawson for a foul on Dejan Lovren.

Eddie Howe's side had plenty of possession but rarely troubled Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and it was Benteke who came closest to adding a second on his impressive Anfield bow when he struck the bar from close range in the last minute.

It was a case of job done for Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers in front of watching owner John W Henry with a second win and second clean sheet of the new season.

Big man Benteke delivers

Benteke was Liverpool's biggest summer investment and Rodgers needs him to deliver - and fast - to ease the pain of last season.

And the early signs were very promising, not just with his winning goal, but also his all-round play.

Liverpool v Bournemouth
Christian Benteke scored 49 goals in 101 games for Aston Villa after signing from Genk for £7m in 2012

The giant Belgian showed his power in the air on several occasions, demonstrating a physical presence that will give a Reds side with a possession-heavy game an added dimension.

Benteke also showed good team awareness and pace on several occasions, his link with Coutinho looked like it could be highly productive as the season progresses.

Bournemouth can take heart

Media playback is not supported on this device

Liverpool 1-0 Bournemouth: Two decisions cost Cherries - Howe

It has been a hard landing for Bournemouth in the Premier League with defeats by Aston Villa and now Liverpool, but there is plenty for Howe to take away from this visit to one of the biggest stages in English football.

The Cherries may need to solve a lack of goals in coming months but they were not daunted by Liverpool or the Kop and played with a confident passing style that will certainly not look out of place in the top flight.

It will be a tough season for Bournemouth and that early table does not look good, but on this evidence there is not the slightest reason for despondency for Howe and his players other than in the pain of another defeat. They were excellent for long spells.

New rule same old problems

The offside rule has been tweaked to supposedly clear up the grey area of when a player is interfering with play only for Bournemouth to find themselves the victim of a situation this was meant to avoid when Benteke scored Liverpool's winner.

Kasper Schmeichel tweet

The new rule states "a player in an offside position shall be penalised if he clearly attempts to play a ball which is close to him when this action impacts on an opponent or makes an obvious action which clearly impacts on the ability of an opponent to play the ball."

A very offside Coutinho was clearly trying to play the ball when he stretched to Henderson's cross, just failing but then seeing the ball fall for Benteke to turn in.

Alan Shearer tweet

The goal was still given and Bournemouth were left nursing a heavy sense of injustice.

Man of the Match - Christian Benteke (Liverpool)

Liverpool v Bournemouth
Liverpool's new £32.5m striker made pretty much the perfect start, scoring the winner and only being denied a second by the woodwork in the closing moments

Manager reaction

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, speaking to BBC Sport: "I haven't seen their disallowed goal or ours and the most important thing is ours stood.

"We said it would be a tough game. Defensively we were very good. Our play was better after the goal, I am very pleased.

"Christian Benteke is bedding into a new team but you could see his threat. I'm very pleased for the players, six points, two clean sheets and the team will grow."

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe, speaking to BBC Sport: "It is tough to take but we have to. We are learning tough lessons, the margins for success are small. It will be character building.

"I didn't say a lot to the officials. They have a hard job but I will speak to then privately. I want feedback on the decisions.

"We had a few chances but the big positive is overall our performance. We know if we perform like that the results and goals will come. The players are winners and this is an experience we don't want to get used to."

The stats you need to know

  • Liverpool remain unbeaten in all competitions against Bournemouth (W5 D2).
  • Since his Liverpool debut in the Premier League, only Steven Gerrard (25) has more Premier League assists for Liverpool than Jordan Henderson (22).
  • Henderson has 10 assists in the Premier League since the start of last season; more than any other English player.
  • Christian Benteke's goal in this game was his 50th in English club football (all comps).
  • Benteke has now scored 12 goals in his last 13 Premier League appearances.
  • This is the sixth time in Premier League history that Liverpool have won their opening two games of the season.
  • Liverpool have now won four successive Premier League games played on a Monday.
  • Simon Mignolet has kept more clean sheets than any other Premier League goalkeeper in 2015.

Up next

It's been a good start for Liverpool - results wise - but they face their first big test of the season next Monday when they travel to Arsenal, where they lost 4-1 in April.

For Bournemouth it's a trip to the capital on Saturday where they will seek their first points of the season at West Ham United.

Social media reaction

Daniel Sturridge tweet
Gary Lineker tweet
Mark Wright

Line-ups

Liverpool

  • 22Mignolet
  • 2Clyne
  • 37Skrtel
  • 6Lovren
  • 12GomezBooked at 75mins
  • 7Milner
  • 14HendersonSubstituted forCanat 52'minutes
  • 10CoutinhoSubstituted forMorenoat 81'minutes
  • 20Lallana
  • 33IbeSubstituted forFirminoat 70'minutes
  • 9C Benteke

Substitutes

  • 4K Touré
  • 11Firmino
  • 18Moreno
  • 23Can
  • 27Origi
  • 28Ings
  • 34Bogdan

Bournemouth

  • 1Boruc
  • 2Francis
  • 5Elphick
  • 3CookBooked at 90mins
  • 11Daniels
  • 30RitchieBooked at 76mins
  • 32O'KaneBooked at 34minsSubstituted forGoslingat 87'minutes
  • 6Surman
  • 10GradelSubstituted forSmithat 81'minutes
  • 13C Wilson
  • 17KingSubstituted forTomlinat 61'minutesBooked at 77mins

Substitutes

  • 4Gosling
  • 7Pugh
  • 14Mings
  • 15Smith
  • 23Federici
  • 24Tomlin
  • 25Distin
Referee:
Craig Pawson
Attendance:
44,102

Match Stats

Home TeamLiverpoolAway TeamBournemouth
Possession
Home55%
Away45%
Shots
Home18
Away13
Shots on Target
Home2
Away2
Corners
Home6
Away8
Fouls
Home11
Away18

Live Text

Match ends, Liverpool 1, Bournemouth 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Liverpool 1, Bournemouth 0.

Alberto Moreno (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Tommy Elphick (Bournemouth).

Attempt missed. James Milner (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Emre Can following a set piece situation.

Booking

Steve Cook (Bournemouth) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Alberto Moreno (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Steve Cook (Bournemouth).

Attempt missed. Adam Lallana (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

Attempt saved. Christian Benteke (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Nathaniel Clyne with a cross.

Attempt missed. Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

Attempt saved. Lee Tomlin (Bournemouth) header from the right side of the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Simon Francis with a headed pass.

Substitution

Substitution, Bournemouth. Dan Gosling replaces Eunan O'Kane.

Attempt missed. Lee Tomlin (Bournemouth) with an attempt from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Matt Ritchie with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Bournemouth. Conceded by Dejan Lovren.

Attempt blocked. Lee Tomlin (Bournemouth) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Adam Smith.

Attempt blocked. Eunan O'Kane (Bournemouth) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Andrew Surman with a headed pass.

Foul by Joseph Gomez (Liverpool).

Adam Smith (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Liverpool. Alberto Moreno replaces Philippe Coutinho.

Substitution

Substitution, Bournemouth. Adam Smith replaces Max Gradel.

Attempt missed. Steve Cook (Bournemouth) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Max Gradel with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Bournemouth. Conceded by Martin Skrtel.

Emre Can (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Callum Wilson (Bournemouth).

Booking

Lee Tomlin (Bournemouth) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Adam Lallana (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Lee Tomlin (Bournemouth).

Booking

Matt Ritchie (Bournemouth) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Emre Can (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Matt Ritchie (Bournemouth).

Booking

Joseph Gomez (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Joseph Gomez (Liverpool).

Lee Tomlin (Bournemouth) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt blocked. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Christian Benteke.

Foul by Adam Lallana (Liverpool).

Eunan O'Kane (Bournemouth) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt blocked. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Substitution

Substitution, Liverpool. Roberto Firmino replaces Jordon Ibe.

Attempt missed. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) left footed shot from the right side of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Christian Benteke.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Man City220066
2Leicester220036
3Liverpool220026
4Man Utd220026
5Everton211034
6Swansea211024
7Crystal Palace210113
8West Ham210113
9Norwich210103
10Aston Villa210103
11Arsenal2101-13
12Watford202002
13Stoke2011-11
14Tottenham2011-11
15Newcastle2011-21
16Chelsea2011-31
17Southampton2011-31
18West Brom2011-31
19Bournemouth2002-20
20Sunderland2002-40
View full Premier League table

Top Stories