To my fellow REDS,
Pics with thanks to Getty Images:
Warmest regards from Boo, webmaster LSCM
It wasn’t pretty at times.. frustrating even.. but we will gladly take the away win and the 3 points that come with it !!
Roy started with the same first eleven that played brilliantly in our previous win against Blackburn last Sunday. Mood was upbeat but the home side was not going to take things lying down. In fact, the Bolton players were extremely hardworking in chasing down our Reds. Nevertheless, our back four of Carragher, Skrtel, Kyrgiakos and Konchesky held firm. Reina also showed steady hands to snuff out the goal attempts and clear any impending danger.
Our midfield of Lucas and Meireles also stood their ground in the face of the continued pressure. Active running and advancing into space help create our attacking moves with Cole and Maxi in support and with Torres and Gerrard in the thick of the action too.
But sadly, the final application was lacking or else it would have been a comfortable ride into the game.
Torres had a flashing header that went just over within the first 5 minutes. Then on the 7th minute, Gerrard capitalized on a defensive error to send Torres in the clear. Our star striker would have dispatched this if it was maybe 12 months ago.. but he took too many steps and the ball was safely cleared away.
After that, we had to dig deep to withstand the Bolton forays. Long balls in the direction of Kevin Davies were the order of the day but Kyrgiakos was able to neutralize most of the deliveries. As the newly capped England striker realized he was not beating Soto to the ball, he decided to throw himself to the ground at the slightest contact to earn cheap freekicks or even penalties. Regretfully, ref Atkinson agreed with Davies more times than he should. But at least the ref did the most sensible thing by denying Bolton a penalty when the ball struck Carra’s hand unintentionally in the box.
The second half was also a reflection of both satisfaction & frustration. Satisfaction to see our Reds clear their lines confidently.. but frustration to see our attacks come to nothing in the final third. Then came the sight of Cole clutching his hamstring on the hour mark. The introduction of Ngog in place of a relatively average Cole added a new dimension in our attacks.
Our young French striker has improved tremendously since that away game in the City of Manchester where he was totally outclassed. Against Gary Cahill, a prospective regular England centre-half, he was able to hold his ground and with a neat first touch to bring down the ball, Ngog was able to initiate threatening attacks with the marauding Reds around him.
We had an escape when a freekick flashed in, allowing Davies to guide the ball just wide off the post.
But soon as the minutes ticked away, we were taking charge at the upper end of the pitch as the Bolton players inexplicably retreated more and more. Then from a sustained period of attack, Torres collected a pass at the edge of the box and cleverly back-heeled the ball into Maxi’s path, nutmegging Cahill at the same time. Maxi toe-poked towards goal but thankfully Jaaskelainen could only parry and the ball bounced into goal off the crossbar. OH WHAT JOY for the away fans behind the goal !!!
Still 4 minutes left plus added time, it was time for a rearguard action to stem the Bolton search for an equalizer. Poulsen came on for Meireles to provide fresh legs. Into the 4 minutes of added time.. but the tension was less as we expertly saw out the game for a precious win and 3 valuable points to allow us to climb up to mid-table.
Thus our winning run is sustained, though only 2 at the moment. But if we claim a victory at Anfield next Sunday against the league leaders, who knows what we can achieve !! For now, we shall enjoy this vital morale-boosting win and plan to negotiate past Napoli at Anfield in the Europa League..