Bourne to be dull

Christian Benteke celebrates his winner. (AP Photo/Clint Hughes)

Christian Benteke celebrates his winner. (AP Photo/Clint Hughes)

Another week, another television game, and another terribly dull 1-0 win.

This week’s rescue came courtesy of Christian Benteke, who prodded home his first goal for the club on his first Anfield start. It shouldn’t have even stood, in truth, as Stoke saviour Philippe Coutinho was offside moments before.

Full credit to Bournemouth, mind. The newly-promoted team took the game to Liverpool early on and had a goal rightly disallowed, but overall they were unlucky not to take at least a point back daarn saarf.

Moral of the story: Rodgers simply must change things up before next week’s Monday Night Football or Liverpool will get embarrassed at the Emirates.

Liverpool player ratings

Simon Mignolet – Looked confident and solid. Made some assured saves despite one misjudgement which he palmed away for a corner. 7

Nathaniel Clyne – Pretty much the same as last week. Dealt with most things that came his way and made a couple of good runs going forward. 7

Martin Skrtel – Took him 20 minutes to settle in and was lucky not to give away a penalty for doing a Martin Skrtel and opting to drag an attacker to the ground rather than mark him. Was a bit shaky all night. 5

Dejan Lovren – See above, minus the penalty incident. 5

Joe Gomez – Again, good but not great. However for an 18-year-old being thrust into the starting XI, he was very assertive. 6

Jordan Henderson – Unspectacular but controlled play by running and passing. Standard Hendo. Inexplicably taken off after just 51 minutes as Rodgers decided to follow Mourinho’s example and take part in ‘substitute your captain week’. Got an assist with a lovely cross. 6

James Milner – Ran and passed a lot, never threatened going forward. Ballooned a 20 yard free kick into Goodison Park. 6

Philippe Coutinho – Tried to dictate the attack but not much fell for him. Missed a gilt-edge chance from just 12 yards out and chased. 5

Adam Lallana – Seemed to get the ball a lot but never did anything with it. Must get dropped for Arsenal next week. 3

Jordon Ibe – Blasted a couple of shots miles away from the goal but was largely ineffective. 4

Christian Benteke – Made a decent run to get in position for his goal, but it was a 3-yard tap-in after all the defenders stopped trying to catch him offside. A paraplegic nun born in 1910 could’ve scored it. Hit the bar from six yards out late on. 6

Substitutes

Emre Can (Henderson, 51) – An extremely bizarre decision to bring him on for captain Hendo, and nearly went off two minutes later after being kicked in the head. Did what Henderson did but with still amazing hair, and was confident going forward. 6

Firmino (Ibe, 70) – Had a couple of flashes of excellence but 20 minutes is not long enough for him, especially 20 minutes of being on the back-foot. 5

Moreno (Coutinho, 81) – Lost his place for reasons unknown after a great season last year, and looked like a man on a mission in his nine minutes. Made an outstanding 50 yard run to win a free kick on the edge of the box. 7

AFC Bournemouth player ratings

Artur Boruc – Could do nothing about the goal but had very little else to do all night. 6

Simon Francis – Had to deal with Ibe most of the night and was generally rather successful in doing so. 6

Tommy Elphick – Had a goal ruled out after just five minutes for using Lovren as a climbing frame, but otherwise did well against Benteke. 6

Steve Cook – Again, did well with most of the crosses Liverpool put in but never really had to strain himself. 6

Charlie Daniels – Kept Lallana quiet (like that’s tough) and did his best against Firmino. 6

Matt Ritchie – Much of the Cherries’ attack went through him, and he was desperately unlucky not to equalise when his piledriver hit the outside of the post. 7

Eunan O’Kane – Spent more time defending than attacking but looked good. 6

Andrew Surman – Never had much of an impact. 5

Max Gradel – May as well have not been playing. About as useful as a vacuum cleaner on the moon. 2

Callum Wilson – Couldn’t get much going for himself but spread the attack well. 6

Joshua King – Didn’t do all that much for anyone, but made a few good passes. 5

Substitutes

Lee Tomlin (King, 61) – Had a couple of shots and did well in his half an hour. 6

Adam Smith (Gradel, 81) – Never had chance to get in the game. 5

Dan Gosling (O’Kane, 87) – Possibly didn’t touch the ball in his few minutes

Referee

Craig Pawson – Did well but didn’t have much to do. Gave out five deserved bookings and kept everyone in check. 8