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Brendan Rodgers relieved as his Anfield men hold on to winning feeling against Bournemouth

By Robert Jones

Published 18/08/2015

Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho battles for the ball with Bournemouth's Eunan O'Kane (right)
Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho battles for the ball with Bournemouth's Eunan O'Kane (right)

Brendan Rodgers hailed his goalscoring hero Christian Benteke after his striker sunk Bournemouth at Anfield.

Benteke's controversial winner on his home debut ensured Liverpool maintained their 100% start to the new season.

Liverpool's £32.5m summer signing from Aston Villa turned home from close range in front of the Kop after 26 minutes - but Philippe Coutinho was clearly offside as he also tried to reach Jordan Henderson's cross.

Rodgers said: "Christian Benteke is bedding into a new team but you could see his threat.

"Christian gives us other options, his hold-up play was excellent. When the ball comes into the box he is a real threat and handful. He deserved his goal.

"I'm very pleased for the players, six points, two clean sheets and the team will grow. A glut of new players finding their feet.

"I haven't seen their disallowed goal or ours and the most important thing is ours stood."

The Ulsterman was full of praise for the Premier League new boys who included Londonderry man Eunan O'Kane in his line-up.

"I am very confident Eddie (Howe) will do well at Bournemouth and keep then in the league.

"We said it would be a tough game. Defensively we were very good."

Liverpool midfielder James Milner said: "We know there is a lot of room for improvement, players have come in and it will take time. We can't ask for more than six points out of six.

"Philippe Coutinho has time to improve and he is a top player already. He is so difficult to mark.

"Arsenal next will be a tough match, they are a quality team."

Bournemouth chief Eddie Howe felt his side were let down by the match officials.

"It is hugely frustrating," he said. "We were in the game, the big decisions have gone against us. The first was a goal by Tommy. If that is a free-kick then we will see free-kicks every time there is a corner.

"The new offside rule is a grey area. Under the new rules that is clearly offside. Our goalkeeper was affected by the player in front of him.

"We had a few chances tonight but the big positive is, overall, our performance.

"We know if we perform like that the results and goals will come. The players are winners and this is an experience we don't want to get used to.

"I am very proud of the performance and the players. You can't beat the decisions and the two big ones have cost us points. It is unforgiving."

"It is tough to take but we have to. We are learning tough lessons, the margins for success are small. It will be character building.

"I didn't say a lot to the officials. They have a hard job but I will speak to then privately. I want feedback on the decisions."

Belfast Telegraph

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