Benteke Scores In Controversial Liverpool Win
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Rodgers started with the same team that he rolled out against Stoke and whilst I was pretty happy with the XI there was a hell of a lot of moaning on social media, mainly down to the missing Sakho and Can. I like Can and I believe we performed better against Stoke once he entered play but some of the vitriol coming from fans last night just because he hadn't started was crazy, we're only two games in and it's widely accepted that Can is still looking for match fitness so it wasn't so much of a surprise for me to see him brought on as a sub.
As for Sakho, I definitely think he's a better defender than Dejan Lovren however I must give credit to the latter as he played well in the Stoke game in my opinion. Again, it's not that surprising that Brendan has stuck to his guns.
Despite the queries over the line up, Liverpool actually looked pretty lively in the first half. Some great link up play between the likes of Coutinho, Henderson, Milner and Benteke was causing issues for Bournemouth. Clyne also impressed with pacey overlapping runs and timely tackles, I'm very pleased so far with his performances over the two games.
Liverpool may have looked relatively settled but Bournemouth were no mugs. They too had plenty of time in possession but were failing on the majority of occasions to convert this into any real threat. The best chance for the visitors came from a corner but Tommy Elphick's headed goal was disallowed after the referee decided he had fouled Dejan Lovren.
I thought Bournemouth were extremely unlucky here and it was a harsh decision in my opinion to award the foul considering Lovren had failed to jump correctly in the first place. It was slow defending from Lovren who luckily managed to redeem himself by making the most of the contact and getting the goal written off.
Shortly afterwards Liverpool would be thanking the referee again. This time it was a blatant offside call that should have been given but was missed. After a short corner Jordan Henderson whipped the ball into the box where an utterly offside Philippe Coutinho pounced at the ball throwing a leg at it in an attempt to score, he never made contact which allowed the ball to fly through to Benteke who slipped home his first goal for Liverpool.
Coutinho was interfering with play, he'd clearly wrong-sighted the goalkeeper and whilst I'm extremely happy that Benteke is off the mark, you have to feel a bit for Bournemouth who at this stage were still very much in the game.
The second half saw no goals created however a rather strange substitution did occur. Jordan Henderson was brought off at 50 minutes to be replaced by Emre Can (NB - Henderson appears to have suffered a slight injury in the game, latest news is that he is awaiting a scan).I wanted to see Can come on but I didn't see the logic in removing the captain? Surely he needs to play as much as possible in order to build his stature as captain of the team, especially after stepping into Steven Gerrard's boots? It just seemed a very strange decision in my opinion, luckily it didn't really matter but you could tell Hendo was frustrated.
By the end of the 90 minutes some fans sounded relieved and were questioning the fact that the Reds didn't follow up with any more goals. To be fair though, if there's one thing Liverpool lacked last season, it was the ability to hold on to tight scorelines and secure all three points. Yes there are certainly improvements to be made (namely an increase in the supply line to Benteke) but at the moment the Reds should feel proud of the fact they have two out of two, keeping two clean sheets in the process.
Next up for the Reds is Arsenal at the Emirates on Monday night.