Liverpool 1 Bournemouth 0: Five things we learnt as the Reds beat the Cherries

Benteke already better than Balotelli; Moreno a winger?

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The Independent Online

Liverpool's owners should be at Anfield more often

It is a sad state of affairs that it is viewed as a story when Liverpool’s owners, the guardians of the club, decide to attend a game. Yet there they were: John W. Henry, who’d flown in from Boston with his wife Linda Pizzuti, and Beverley Hills based chairman Tom Werner, who’d travelled a even further, to witness Liverpool play for the first time since February.

Their presence is a reminder that day to day, week to week, month to month, Liverpool is not run from the very top. Fenway Sports Group have undoubtedly moved Liverpool into a better financial place since taking control of the club nearly five years ago. They see the £114million Main Stand regeneration of Anfield as proof of their commitment. Yet Liverpool requires more than dollars and pounds. It needs care, decisive stewardship and most of all, absolute attention.

Henry also owns Boston Red Sox, a baseball franchise currently in turmoil and fixed to the bottom of the Eastern standings. Last month, president Larry Luccinho resigned and although Henry has built up enough good will by delivering three World Series, frustration is building with fans demanding changes that will dramatically improve performance and inevitably cost lots of money

Henry has spent much of 2015 also trying to save the Boston Globe, a regional institution, which has been awarded 23 Pulitzer Prizes since 1966 but in the last decade, like many newspapers, has suffered.

It is a wonder how he finds the time for it all.

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Liverpool owner John W. Henry

Bournemouth’s survival will chances will be greater with consistent selection

Contrary to perception, Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth is not the youngest of teams, with an average age of 26. His defence is the same one that sealed promotion from League One in 2013, one that has grown together since Howe’s return to the south coast. Like Sean Dyche at Burnley last season, Howe recognises the virtues of maintaining faith with the players that got him into the Premier League in the first place. Howe will hope that Bournemouth’s outcome this year will be different to that of his former club. Here, the trust between Bournemouth’s players was more evident than Liverpool’s

It’s fine to have a right footed player at left-back

The last time Liverpool fielded four or more home debutants was 16 years ago when recently promoted Watford left Merseyside as victors thanks to Tommy Mooney’s scrambled winner in the second game of the season.

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Joe Gomez impressed for Liverpool

It is doubtful Liverpool’s newcomers were aware about this warning from history as Bournemouth began vibrantly, dominating the first 20 minutes of each half and Anfield not familiar with a reshaped team to really know whether they’d be confident enough to see the difficult periods out.

Despite Bournemouth’s possession, Liverpool were not found to be stretched defensively in the way they have been in each of the three seasons under Brendan Rodgers.

Although Matt Ritchie – Bournemouth’s most enterprising player – tested Joe Gomez – a teenager playing for the first time at Anfield – it helped Liverpool having a right footed player at left back. Competitive teams of Liverpool's past have been more secure with Jamie Carragher and Jon Flanagan similarly operating out of position, like Gomez.

Christian Benteke will occupy the minds of at least two defenders in a way Mario Balotelli never did

Liverpool were far from cohesive and Christian Benteke spent too much time wondering where the support from his midfield was after winning his aerial battles with Tommy Elphick and Steve Cook.

Yet aside from his goal, the Belgian offered Liverpool a focal point. Moreover, he troubled the opponents around him and was rarely found to be standing still.

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Aside from the goal, Christian Benteke was a real handful

Alberto Moreno might be a better winger than a left-back

In a five minute appearance as a substitute, the Spaniard contributed more than he did in the second half of last season. The Spaniard has a tendency to run in straight lines. On the counter attack when Liverpool require an outlet, this could be an asset.

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