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Liverpool 1, Bournemouth 0: First Thoughts

Liverpool didn’t look great and needed a few big decisions to go their way, but in the end the three points are what matter, and for the second time in a row it’s the Reds who got them.

Alex Livesey/Getty Images

liverpool blog fc sbn

Liverpool 1 Benteke 26'
Bournemouth 0

  • In a surprise move, Brendan Rodgers went with the same starting eleven that struggled to do much against Stoke. Then, there had been a case for defensive solidity on the road against a side that beat Liverpool 6-1 in the final match of last season. At home against Bournemouth, leaving Can and Firmino on the bench—two players who improved Liverpool immensely when they came on in the second half last week—seemed an odd call.

  • Bournemouth came out firing, and Liverpool were lucky not to be down in the fifth minute when Tommy Elphick headed in off a corner. The referee whistled the play dead, ruling he’d tugged Dejan Lovren’s shirt, but if it had been the other way Reds fans would have been incensed at the borderline call. Lovren was doubly lucky as the corner came after he was too easily beaten by his man.

  • Nathaniel Clyne and Philippe Coutinho are good at football. Very good, even.

  • Liverpool may have had moments of individual brilliance, but with the midfield frequently shown up by the visiting Cherries, the tactics weren’t doing the players any favours. None of that mattered to the home fans, though—nor did the fact that a clearly offside Coutinho was involved in the play—when Benteke got his toe on a deep cross off a short corner routine to put the hosts up against the run of play.

  • If Liverpool were fortunate to be up at the half, they were less fortunate when Jordan Henderson came off five minutes into the second half with and ankle injury.

  • Just like in the first, despite being a newly promoted club visiting Anfield, Bournemouth were probably the better side as the clock ticked down, and at times it felt more like Liverpool were set up to just try and survive rather than to take the game to their opponents. Result aside, it made for at times difficult viewing.

  • In the end, though, as against Stoke it’s the result that matters. Yet based on the tactics and overall performance, it’s difficult to feel especially confident heading into next Monday’s match against Arsenal.

liverpool blog fc sbn

We'll be back shortly to take an in-depth look at everything that happened in today's game with the full recap. Until then, let us know your take on the ups and downs of the match in the comments, and if you haven't already, join the community on the Liverpool Offside, where we'll have full coverage and lively in-game discussion for every match this season.

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