Saturday, August 29, 2009

Bolton 2 - 3 Liverpool

Torres was on target as Liverpool fought back to beat Bolton

Bolton 2-3 Liverpool
Liverpool twice came from behind to beat a stubborn behind to beat a stubborn Bolton side, who have Sean Davis harshly sent
Liverpool twice came from behind to beat a stubborn Bolton side, who had Sean Davis harshly sent off.

Kevin Davies put the hosts in front when he tapped in from a corner only for Glen Johnson to equalise with a low shot into the bottom corner.

Tamir Cohen restored Bolton's lead with a volley but then Davis was given a second caution for a foul on Lucas.

Steven Gerrard hit the bar before Fernando Torres finished clinically and Gerrard rifled in the winner late on.

It was a bitter blow for Bolton, having lost Davis to a debatable refereeing decision by Alan Wiley and some gamesmanship from Lucas, who waved an imaginary card towards the official.

The incident proved to be the turning point as Liverpool showed an urgency that had been lacking until that point.

That it should have happened only when had numerical superiority must have been a worry to manager Rafael Benitez, who had before the game called on his players to kick-start their season.

Tears of joy when stevie G got the winner but if this horrible defending keeps up it will be tears of pain for the rest of the season


With two league defeats in their first three matches, Liverpool's title credentials were already being called into question.

And doubts still remained after another unconvincing performance against a Bolton side also struggling for form.

Benitez had singled out Gerrard as having been below par in their opening games but the skipper responded in the perfect manner.

Although he was still not at his thrusting, influential best, Gerrard's main contribution was a decisive one as he thrashed in a volley in the 83rd minute to seal three points for his side.

Early in the match, Benitez prowled the touchline looking frustrated and unimpressed and his players showed little invention to lift his mood.

They looked uncertain at the back with debutant Sotirios Kyrgiakos having a few nervous moments - and they were punished for failing to clear a corner when Kevin Davies poked him from close range to give Bolton the lead.

Soon after, Torres incurred the wrath of the Bolton players after they felt he had looked to win a penalty despite Zat Knight cleanly taking the ball.

But from the resulting corner, the ball was only half cleared and fell to Johnson who struck a low shot beyond Jussi Jaaskelainen for his second goal of the season.

Bolton went into the interval feeling aggrieved but were back in front just moments after the restart.

Jaaskelainen punted the ball upfield, Davies flicked the ball on and Cohen volleyed home against the team his father, Avi, used to play for despite a despairing attempt to block by Jamie Carragher.

The two goals were the first that Bolton had scored in the league this season and at that point, another shock defeat looked on the cards for Liverpool.

But the decision to send off Davis changed everything and within seconds, Liverpool came piling forward and Gerrard smashed a vicious shot against the bar.

Moments later parity was restored when Dirk Kuyt chested the ball into the path of Torres and the Spaniard lashed home.

And although Bolton did their best to hang on as Liverpool chased the victory, it proved a fruitless task when a corner fell to Gerrard, the England midfielder found the top corner.

Liverpool almost scored again when Torres had a shot hacked off the line, but a wider margin of victory would have been flattering.

While Liverpool still need to improve to challenge for the title, they will be relieved to have won and Benitez will be pleased by his side's spirit.

Bolton, however, can also take some positives from a performance that gives them hope for the rest of the campaign.


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