Liverpool made their home debut at Anfield, repeating their 1-0 performance last week against Stoke with a 1-0 win against newly promoted Bournemouth. Bournemouth, on the other hand, suffer their second straight 1-0 defeat as they also lost to Aston Villa last week.
While both teams attacked and had the advantage at different points in the game, the game is defined by two important moments and moments that involved the referees.
The first, was a goal scored by Bournemouth that was disallowed due to a foul by the supposed goalscorer Tommy Elphick on Liverpool’s Dejan Lovren. This is a very debatable call and it is very possible to have differing opinions. Seeing the replays and having some time to think about it, I stand by what I said when the goal was originally disallowed. The foul was probably the right call, I have seen other instances where the player got away with a lot less. I frankly wouldn’t have been shocked if the referee allowed the goal but they made the right call.
The second big moment of the game had to do with a play that wasn’t disallowed by the referees. After a short corner kick, Jordan Henderson sent the ball into the box. As Philippe Coutinho was clearly offside, he tried to take a stab at the ball and missed. The ball went to newly signed Christian Benteke and Benteke scored to give Liverpool the lead and inevitably win 1-0.
While there could have been some debate last year whether or not Coutinho made contact with the ball and thus be ruled offside, new offside rules based for this season should’ve negated the judgement call the referee would’ve had to make. The fact that Coutinho was in an offside position and influenced the play at all should’ve been enough to disallow the goal. It was the wrong call but regardless of whether the call was correct or not, the goal counted and Liverpool won.
While Liverpool is tied for third place in the EPL with Manchester United and one of three teams who have had two clean sheets in two games (along with Manchester City), Liverpool hasn’t been all that impressive. They had slow starts in both the Stoke and Bournemouth games and relied on a tremendous individual effort by Coutinho last week and a botched referee call this week. What Liverpool has going for them is the back line looks much improved now than last season.
That being said, Liverpool still isn’t perfect even though their record says otherwise. While they seemed to get it together closer to the end, it appeared that Liverpool’s midfield was out of sync with each other. Liverpool may be able to get away with this against Stoke and Bournemouth but they can’t possibly expect to get away with this against Arsenal next week. If Liverpool is slow out of the gate against Arsenal like they did the first two games, Arsenal will be up 2-0 before the traveling Liverpool fans finish singing “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”