Yet more dreadful officiating, marred what was otherwise a thoroughly deserved home victory, in which Dominik Szoboszlai shone in the sunshine and Mo Salah surpassed Steven Gerrard, in Liverpool’s scoring charts.
Having gifted a spirited Bournemouth a goal in the opening minute, in which an offside decision came to Trent’s rescue, he failed to heed the lesson as a loose touch led to the away side taking the lead just minutes later. Yes, Liverpool again started lethargically and could have found themselves two down when Alisson, hesitant with the ball at his feet, received a yellow card for a foul just outside the penalty box. Had he not committed the foul, the Cherries would surely have doubled their lead. The error however, finally galvanised Liverpool and, just after the twenty minute mark, they drew level.
Luis Diaz, looking back to his best after a long-term injury, received the ball from Diogo Jota, and the Colombian teed himself up for a wonderfully improvised and acrobatic finish. The impressive Szoboszlai then ‘won’ a penalty, one of several very dubious refereeing decisions. Salah stepped up to take the penalty, only to see it saved by Neto. However, the Egyptian was alert to the rebound and hammered it into the net.
Ahead for the first time in the game, Liverpool took command, but then came a red card for our new number ten. To describe the decision as soft would be to excuse a referee who appeared to get no help from VAR, and whose performance was close to abject throughout. It will surely be overturned on appeal. Yet Liverpool made light of the set-back, and the ten men went further in front just minutes later, with Jota tapping in from close range when Neto could only parry a shot from ‘Szobo’, who showed some lovely touches, played with his head up throughout and drove his teammates forward with purpose and energy, in a Man of the Match display.
Bournemouth continued to press, forcing smart saves from Alisson on two occcassions, but Jurgen Klopp’s men looked comfortable as the minutes ticked down. Joe Gomez, Harvey Elliot and this week’s new arrival, Wataru Endo, made brief appearances, but surely another midfield signing is required if Liverpool are to add to a promising start to what could become a transitional league season.