The question still remains whether or not he can do it on a cold Tuesday in Stoke, but Liverpool fans around the world have now seen first hand that new Reds striker Christian Benteke can do it on a Sunday afternoon in Swindon — and he can do it in style.
The big Belgian has been a polarizing figure among the Anfield faithful since his big money move from Aston Villa last month with sections of supporters doubting that the 24-year old will be the man to revitalize their floundering attack. After being left out of the squad that ran out winners against HJK Helsinki on Saturday evening, both Benteke and fellow new-boy Roberto Firmino got to taste action for their first time in a Liverpool shirt, and though the Brazilian impressed during his time on the pitch, it was the former Villain that really made an impression with an unstoppable volley from 20-yards out that put the visitors ahead.
Video courtesy of Goals HDQ
“Christian’s goal was incredible, whether it was a pre-season friendly or in a league or cup game. It was wonderful technique from the big guy, enthused Reds boss Brendan Rodgers following the final whistle. “The other guys started to get some minutes under their belt; Firmino, Emre Can, boys that have come back a bit later. It was pleasing all round,” he continued. “It finished off our pre-season preparations – a number of guys needed a game today. It was a really good exercise.”
Benteke, who was handed Liverpool’s famous Number-9 shirt following the departure of Rickie Lambert to West Bromwich Albion last week, may not have been given that much time or space in a match against top-class opposition, but it’s hard to argue with the technique or the finish — that was something to see. While he’s sure to remain a divisive figure for some time, if you weren’t celebrating that one because you’re still a bit sour, you need to check both your pulse and your allegiance…