Bolton Wanderers 3-1 Liverpool Match Report
Liverpool travelled to Bolton in search of their first league win of the New Year. Bolton have had a tough first half of the season as they languish near the bottom of the table, but they have picked up in recent weeks. Liverpool have had a good recent record at the Reebok Stadium looking for their 5th consecutive win at the venue and hoping to keep in the chase for a top four place.
Dalglish made four changes to the team that drew with Stoke last weekend, with Bellamy, Carroll, Agger and Maxi returning to the team as Liverpool looked to continue their good away form. The defence had a familiar look to it with Agger returning alongside Johnson, Skrtel and Enrique. Adam partnered Gerrard in the middle of midfield with Maxi and Henderson alongside them. Bellamy would support Andy Carroll up front.
Liverpool looked shaky from the start and they were rocked in the 4th minute when Bolton took the lead when Davies ran right through the heart of the Liverpool defence before stabbing a low effort into the bottom corner.
Moments later Eagles muscled past Enrique before shooting right across the face of goal as Liverpool struggled to cope with Bolton’s bright start. Then Maxi handled a long clearance from Reina as he tried to control. Bellamy and Henderson had efforts blocked as Liverpool tried to respond.
Liverpool had a shout for a penalty when an Adam free-kick ended up hitting Knight on the hand but referee Friend waved away the appeals. But Liverpool fell further behind when Reo-Coker fired passed Reina after a pass from Eagles.
Liverpool responded in the 38th minute when Carroll flicked on a long ball to Bellamy who ran through on goal before chipping the ball past the advancing Bogdan to give Liverpool hope. With Liverpool down 2-1 at the half Dalglish would be hoping for better in the second half.
But in the 5th minute of the second half Bolton took a 3-1 lead when Steinsson smashed a volley low into the Liverpool net after a Wheater knock down from a corner. Dalglish brought on Kuyt and Downing as he hoped for a comeback but the closest the visitors came to goal was a long range effort from Agger which hit the top of the crossbar. It was a very disappointing day for Liverpool as they were well beat.
It was a very disappointing result and performance from Liverpool against a Bolton side who has been struggling this season. I couldn’t fault Dalglish’s team selection, and I was pleased to see Maxi return to the team. The poorest performance by far this season and the defence was terrible considering how strong they have been all season. League results need to pick up quickly or fourth spot will be a pipe dream.
Man Of The Match – Bellamy – played well, scored a good goal, always shows a fighting spirit.
written by Jamie McLaughlin website www.anfieldnews.com