Three points, a clean sheet, and a first goal for Liverpool’s big money striker signing. Despite some niggling doubts, in the end it was a positive result that means Liverpool have taken maximum points from their first two games of the season, and it’s those positives Christian Benteke was looking to focus on following the match.
"It’s a great day, for myself and for the team," the big Belgian told reporters following the win. "The important thing tonight is the three points. In my mind, I just said, ‘keep it going and you might be able to get the ball.’ It was the right decision and so I’m happy, and it’s a great feeling. It’s important for the confidence heading into the next game."
Benteke showed more awareness than any other player on the pitch on either side when he broke towards the back post off a corner routine in the first half. The Bournemouth man marking him—and in fact the entire Bournemouth back line—were caught flat-footed, still pushing up the pitch in an attempt to play Liverpool’s attackers offside.
To be fair to them, it should have worked, as Philippe Coutinho was well offside when he made a stab for the ball, momentarily freezing the goalkeeper and allowing Benteke an uncontested tap-in. Under this year’s offside rules or last, Liverpool’s offside player had influenced the play and made an attempt on the ball and it should have been whistled.
That doesn’t, though, take away from Benteke’s own well spotted and well timed run, though both Liverpool and Coutinho were fortunate the linesman didn’t end up waving off the game’s only goal in a match where the newly promoted visitors to Anfield often looked the better side. Even there, though, Benteke was looking for positives.
"The most important thing is the clean sheet," he added, looking to turn the focus on the defence and Simon Mignolet having managed to keep the opposition off the scoreboard for the second match in a row. "We didn’t concede and we won, so we go on to the next one."