17th August 2015 – Kick Off 20:00
FA Premier League At Anfield, Liverpool
Liverpool V Bournemouth
New boys Bournemouth traveled to Merseyside as the Reds were looking for their second straight win to open the season. However the underdogs started the brighter. Alex Watson’s pace caused Dejan Lovren problems and this helped Bournemouth win a string of early corners.
5 Minutes in Bournemouth will feel they should have had the lead. After Watson caused Lovren more problems leading to Adam Lellana to conceded another corner, Tommy Elphick rose above Lovren to head the ball into the net. The referee however ruled the header out for a push on Lovren. It is the sort of contest for the ball many referees would have seen as fair and given the goal.
After a rocky start James Milner and Phillipe Coutiniho began to take control of midfield. Liverpool started to dominate possession without creating a lot. The chance finally came from a free-kick, despite suspicions Coutinho was off-side, the flag stayed down and Christian Benteke got on the end of the cross to finish from close range and give the Reds the lead with his first goal for Liverpool in front of the Kop.
GOAL – 28 MINUTES – LIVERPOOL 1 Bournemouth 0 – CHRISTIAN BENTEKE
A couple of minutes later a smartly worked free-kick saw Jordan Henderson graze the bar with a long range effort. Liverpool ended the half the stronger. Coutinho’s through ball for Benteke was just too far to reach, then Coutinho trying to play a one two saw the deflection off the defender fall into his path but he put the clear cut chance wide of the target. Without being too convincing, Liverpool deserved their lead at the break.
Half Time – Liverpool 1 (Benteke 28) Bournemouth 0
Bournemouth’s Matt Ritchie started the second half brightly with a snap shot straight at Simon Mignolet. Bournemouth had more possession in the early part of the second half and showed they had every intention of giving it a good go. Approaching the hour Ritchie again nearly equalised with a hlf volley that hit the outside of the post with Mignolet well beaten. Time and again Liverpool got in good crossing position but Jordon Ibe was disappointing hitting the first man wasting a series of chances to create.
Bournemouth continued to try and push men forward but with less effect as time wore in. Benteke regularly broke up the play by holding the ball up and with some nice touches, working incredibly hard for the cause with not a huge amount of service. Milner also controlled the midfield in the latter point of the second half, slowing things down and keeping the ball well with simplicity and regularity.
With the game seemingly petering out into a one goal win Liverpool broke down the right hand side and a cross from substitute Emre Can fell to Benteke who scuffed the shot up onto the bar, Lallana shot over from the rebound. Bournemouth pushed forward again in stoppage time but did not deliver anything in terms of chances. This was a poor game overall with Liverpool doing just enough for the win and looking pretty solid defensively after a shaky start. Nathanial Clyne was again very impressive, but it was Benteke with a goal and a huge amount of hard work who got him Anfield career off to the most impressive start. Not pretty but two wins out of two for Liverpool, with the much tougher test of Arsenal away to come next week.
MOON OF LIBERTY FINAL SCORE
Liverpool (1) 1 (Benteke 28) Bournemouth (0) 0
MOON OF LIBERTY STAR MAN – Christian Benteke (Liverpool)