Bolton lifted themselves out of the relegation zone on Saturday after a commanding display to shock a poor Liverpool side at the Reebok. The result means, Liverpool are still searching for their first Premier League win of 2012.
Maxi Rodriguez and Daniel Agger returned to the Liverpool starting XI after missing out last week, while Craig Bellamy was given the nod over Stewart Downing. David N’Gog was given a place in the starting XI for Bolton against his former club.
Liverpool found themselves under pressure straight away as the home side took the lead just 4 minutes into the game through Mark Davies. Owen Coyle’s side almost doubled their lead just moments later when Chris Eagles shot wide from a difficult angle after sloppy defending from the ever reliable Jose Enrique.
The Trotters pressed Liverpool hard and forced them to make mistakes to which the Reds succumbed. Liverpool misplaced passes, mistimed tackles (Charlie Adam in particular), and were forced to make sloppy defensive errors.
And on the half hour mark, the home side, deservedly, doubled their lead when Nigel Reo-Coker slotted past Pepe Reina. Liverpool responded instantly, as Carroll’s clever flick on was collected by Bellamy, who after out-pacing the Bolton defense, scored with a delicate chip over Bodgan, eight minutes before half time.
Craig Bellamy’s delicate finish counted for nothing as Liverpool were well-beaten by the Trotters.
Any hope of a Liverpool comeback in the second half was quickly undone when Steinsson restored Bolton’s two goal cushion after some poor defending by Liverpool from the corner. With just 25 minutes left to play, Kenny changed things up with the introduction of Stewart Downing and Dirk Kuyt for Maxi and Charlie Adam, however it didn’t affect the balance of play that Kenny was hoping for. Daniel Agger hit the crossbar late on before Chris Eagles went close again before the full time whistle.
After the game, an angry Dalglish threatened to axe the players who were not performing to the level he expected. He said: ”If anybody has any aspirations of staying any length of time at the football club then they’ll not be here for much longer if that’s the way they want to perform. We expect a much higher level than that.”
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