Liverpool beat Bournemouth 1-0 in their first home game of the new Premier League season thanks to yet another inept referee display in what was quite a poor game in truth.
Referee Craig Pawson had a shocker here tonight and sadly one that greatly influenced the result. He really owes Bournemouth an apology. Is anyone beginning to notice a recurring theme with the Premier League this season?
Bournemouth should have taken the lead inside ten minutes. A corner came in from out on the right, Tommy Elphick got above Dejan Lovren and headed home from six yards out.
However Pawson decided to rule it out for a foul on Lovren who was pretending to be hurt. There was more contact when Alexis Sanchez jumped above the Crystal Palace defence on Sunday to set up the winner (review here). What makes matters worse is that you could see Nathaniel Clyne and Martin Skrtel grappling with Bournemouth players. An absolutely shocking decision.
But things took an even crueler twist for Bournemouth. After having a rightful goal disallowed Liverpool had an offside goal allowed.
Jordan Henderson crossed the ball in from out on the left wing which was met at the back post by Christian Benteke who prodded it in from three yards out.
However the controversy came from Philippe Coutinho, who was in an offside position and challenged for the ball as it came in. He missed it and it bounced past him to Benteke but under the new rules it should have been ruled out for offside. It wasn’t even marginal or difficult for the officials to see.
Beyond those two controversies the highlight of the match was Adam Lallana slipping over when trying to take a corner. That is how dull this match was.
Liverpool look average. They don’t look like a top four side or one that belongs in the Champions League. They are still vulnerable defensively, Lovren really isn’t good enough, Brendan Rodgers should look into getting an upgrade before the transfer window closes. They also need to play with more pace and get forward quicker.
There are a lot of positives for Bournemouth. They played with great pace and great intensity. They were closing Liverpool down all over the pitch. They were trying to win every ball. They constantly broke forward with pace and were a nuisance all day. If they play like that against the teams at the bottom of the table they will pick up points.
Overall it was a very very boring match.