It has been one of those halves where if Dirk Kuyt hadn’t scored that goal, then people would be saying the exact same things that they have been saying all throughout the season. Laboured, devoid of attacking ideas lack of width, and just general sloppiness.
But, that half has been lighted up by Kuyt’s 9th of the season. Well worked goal it has to be said. Nothing really lucky or fortunate about it. Aquilani has had an indifferent half for the most of it, feeding a nice cross to Insua, whose control surprised me as well as the Bolton defender, and whose cross found Aquilani at the back-post. A nicely cushioned header back to Kuyt who adjusted at the last minute to guide the ball past Jasskelainen and the defender at the far-post and in to the net.
Other than that N’Gog has shown some nice pieces of attacking running, at least something to cause Zat Knight some problems. Have to say that he has looked the most promising player in this match, just because whenever he gets the ball in space, the crowd seems to respond to him. I think most Liverpool fans sort of feel the same way. Say what you want about David N’Gog, but you cannot deny that he seems to be the only player who wants to run at people. Riera can do that on his day, but the key words being, ‘on his day.’
Bolton are causing problems as well. Highlighted by Krygiakos’ clearance off the line from Lee (I think). Nice to see that the Big Greek is not being bullied by Davies’ strength. I suppose we should not put Bolton in that bracket anymore. No longer will they be one to play the long-ball to their big-man up-front, but with a manager like Owen Coyle, and players like Jack Wilshere and Lee, they have players who can roast defenders on a spit. Lee himself nearly did it again in the 43rd minute when a poor clearance found its way to the South Korean, and we were fortunate that he decided to go down from a nothing-challenge by Aquilani, and was rightly booked.
Overall, I don’t think Rafa needs to change his team-talk thanks to the goal. We need to get a second goal, and maybe a third goal as well. Bolton will be generous at the back in terms of chances, it just depends on how we carve them out. However, Coyle will tell his players that when the clock is running down to say five, or ten minutes and we are still 1-0 up, or even worse, 1-1, our players will get that all-too familiar nervous feeling. A feeling that comes after you have conceded late-goal after late-goal.
So we must not sit back. This is not the situation where we can allow them on to us and simply aim to make use of the space they provide. I dunno if it is too much to ask for Rafa to be a bit more pro-active in the second-half this time around. If we haven’t got that second-goal by say 65 minutes, I do believe that he should make changes, regardless of if Bolton are threatening us at the back or not.
‘Mon the Reds!