Bolton Wanderers 0-2 Liverpool

  • November 15, 2008 | By Chris Mann
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Liverpool returned to the top of the Premier League after a hard fought 2-0 victory over Bolton at the Reebok Stadium.

Dirk Kuyt had given the visitors the lead in the first half before Steven Gerrard sealed the points inside the final 20 minutes.

Gary Cahill had a goal disallowed for Bolton and substitute Ricardo Gardner wasted a fantastic opportunity either side of the interval as Wanderers were made to pay for wasted chances.

Liverpool started the game the brighter of the two sides, having most of the possession but failing to create any chances on goal.

Wanderers captain Kevin Nolan tested Jose Reina into a comforatble save with a shot from range before Albert Riera wasted opportunities at the other end for Liverpool.

Javier Mascherano and Gerrard went close for the visitors soon after, but both shot wide from distance, before Kuyt saw an effort come back off the crossbar.

Much to the relief of Reds boss Rafa Benitez, Liverpool broke the deadlock just before the half hour, with Kuyt this time taking his chance.

Fabio Aurelio found space down the left flank before crossing for Kuyt who sent a looping header over Jussi Jaaskelainen and into the top corner to open the scoring.

Then, just a couple of minutes later, Robbie Keane should have doubled their advantage but somehow missed a simple tap in following good work from Kuyt.

Daniel Agger went close with a shot from distance before Bolton had what they thought was an equaliser disallowed by referee Rob Styles.

Gavin McCann whipped a corner into the middle and Gary Cahill headed the ball into the net, only for Styles to award a free-kick to Liverpool for a foul on Reina by Nolan.

The referee, who was involved in controversy the last time he refereed a Bolton game, was booed off the field at the break.

Gardner replaced Fabrice Muamba at the break and the Jamaican international should have equalised on 52 minutes.

Picking up the ball just inside the Liverpool half, Gardner shrugged off challenges from four Liverpool players before rounding Reina, but he scuffed his shot wide of goal from a narrow angle.

Liverpool then hit Bolton on the break and should have wrapped up the points, but Gerrard, just like Keane earlier, couldn't convert from just a yard out.

But from their next attack, the visitors completed the victory. Substitute Fernando Torres beat the Bolton defence, but after being forced wide, he delivered a superb cross for Gerrard who headed past Jaaskelainen.

Jaaskelainen prevented Torres and Xabi Alonso from adding a third before the former hit the post and Lucas somehow headed wide from inside the six yard box.

Styles was once again booed off the field at the end, but despite a second half scare, Liverpool deservedly took all three points and returned to the top of the Premier League.

Bolton Wanderers: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Cahill, A O'Brien, Samuel, Taylor (Smolarek 84), Nolan, Muamba (Gardner 46), McCann, Elmander, Davies
Subs Not Used: Al Habsi, Helguson, Shittu, Basham, Obadeyi
Booked: Nolan

Liverpool: Reina, Carragher, Hyypia, Agger, Aurelio, Alonso, Mascherano, Kuyt (Lucas 84), Gerrard, Riera (Benayoun 89), Keane (Torres 59)
Subs Not Used: Cavalieri, Dossena, Babel, Darby
Booked: Carragher
Goals: Kuyt 28, Gerrard 73

Attendance: 24,893
Referee: Rob Styles

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Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
19 Rochdale 34 36
20 AFC Wimbledon 35 35
21 Tranmere Rovers 34 32
22 Southend United 35 19
23 Bolton Wanderers 34 14
View Full Standings >>


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