New signing, Christian Benteke scored a controversial goal to give Liverpool maximum 3points in their second league game against newly-promoted side, Bournemouth. The £32 million summer signing from Aston Villa struck from close range after 26 minutes at Anfield but debate raged over whether Philippe Coutinho was offside.
This came after the Cherries had earlier had a Tommy Elphick goal harshly ruled ruled for a push in the area by referee Craig Pawson. Brendan Rodgers, watched by Liverpool owner John W Henry, fielded a side unchanged from the laboured opening victory at Stoke.
They started in much the same sluggish manner as the visitors made the early running. Max Gradel looked dangerous on the left, Andrew Surman and Eunan O’Kane provided drive and strikers Callum Wilson and Josh King were threatening. It was the 24th minute before Liverpool finally posed a serious threat with Benteke driving narrowly over from distance.
The questionable goal moments later as Jordan Henderson swung in a deep cross from the left.
Coutinho was offside and clearly played at the ball as it bounced past him on the way to Benteke, who turned home at the far post. The goal, Benteke’s 50th in English club football, sparked strong debate over the latest interpretation of the offside rule. Coutinho did not have to make contact to be flagged, as he would have done in previous seasons, but his action had to impact on an opponent.
There were no Bournemouth players near him as he moved for the ball, but goalkeeper
Artur Boruc may have anticipated a touch.
Liverpool did enough to hold on and Benteke almost snatched a second in the closing moments when a deflected shot struck the bar.