English Premiership

Bournemouth robbed of first points

2015-08-18 09:08
Eddie Howe (AFP)

London - A "grey area" surrounding the new offside rule cost Bournemouth their first Premier League points on Monday, according to the promoted side's manager Eddie Howe.

Christian Benteke's controversial 26th minute goal condemned the south coast newcomers to a 1-0 defeat but they were entitled to feel hard done by.

Benteke's solitary strike was allowed to stand despite the involvement of Philippe Coutinho, who attempted to connect with the ball from a clearly offside position.

Bournemouth goalie Artur Boruc was drawn to Coutinho in the middle of the area and he raised his arms in preparation for a save before the ball travelled past the Brazilian to the far post where Benteke, who arrived unmarked from an onside position, bundled the ball into the net.

"The new offside rule is a grey area," Howe told Sky Sports.

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

"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."

Before this season the Premier League tweaked rules surrounding offside interference which should have prevented the goal from standing.

New rules state that a player in an offside position shall be penalised if he clearly attempts to play a ball which is close to him when his action impacts on an opponent or their ability to play the ball.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said numerous alterations to the rules had caused confusion.

"The interpretation of offside changes every season, so it is difficult," the Northern Irishman said. "If you are offside you are offside."

Former Premier League referee Graham Poll, who famously issued Croatia defender Josip Simunic three yellow cards before sending him off at the 2006 World Cup, said the goal should have been disallowed.

"Christian Benteke's goal in the first half should clearly have been disallowed because Philippe Coutinho was in an offside position when the ball was played in, but assistant Harry Lennard failed to signal," he wrote in the Daily Mail.

"Last season he would have been correct - this goal was perfectly legitimate. But the Premier League highlighted before the start of this campaign a change in interpretation and this was a textbook example of the difference.

"Coutinho might not have touched the ball, but he moved towards it and attempted to play it. It is a clip of film that will probably be played at the next referees' meeting."

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