Bolton Wanderers 3-1 Liverpool

  • January 21, 2012 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton moved out of the Premier League's relegation zone for the first time since October with a fully deserved 3-1 win over Liverpool.

Just as they did against Macclesfield Town on Tuesday night, Wanderers made the perfect start with an early goal as Mark Davies opened the scoring after four minutes.

Nigel Reo-Coker doubled the advantage just before the half hour, before Craig Bellamy reduced arrears with a goal for the visitors just before the break.

Any fears of a Liverpool comeback were put to rest five minutes after the break as David Wheater knocked down a Martin Petrov corner for Gretar Steinsson to smash home from close range and move Owen Coyle's side out of the bottom three.

Wanderers took just 35 seconds to open the scoring against Macclesfield in midweek and they got off to the perfect start once again on Saturday evening.

Former Reds forward David Ngog held off a challenge from Martin Skrtel and laid the ball off to Davies. The tricky midfielder raced towards the penalty area and shot low into the bottom corner of Jose Reina's goal with just over three minutes on the clock.

The hosts almost doubled their advantage five minutes later as Chris Eagles raced beyond Jose Enrique before flashing the ball across the face of goal, narrowly avoiding the far post.

It took Liverpool 18 minutes to register a shot on target, but Jordan Henderson's powerful strike was straight at Adam Bogdan in the Bolton goal.

The much criticised striker Andy Carroll brought a good save out of Bogdan with a header five minutes later and they were hit with a suckerpunch just before the half hour as Wanderers deservedly doubled their advantage.

Ngog was again involved. The former Liverpool forward found Eagles racing towards the edge of the box and he dinked the ball to Reo-Coker who controlled on his chest before beating Reina from close range.

Bellamy was sent clear on goal in the 35th minute but his early strike from the edge of the box was straight at Bogdan. However, the Wales international got another chance moments later and this time he made no mistake in bringing his team back into the game.

A goal-kick from Bogdan was headed back into the Bolton half by Charlie Adam and Bellamy raced between Sam Ricketts and Zat Knight to meet a flick from Carroll before poking the ball past the unrushing Wanderers goalkeeper.

Steven Gerrard brought a good save out of Bogdan a couple of minutes later, before Reina produced a superb diving save to deny Martin Petrov from a free-kick as the half ended with Bolton leading by two goals to one.

Wanderers have conceded early second half goals on numerous occasions this season but this time they scored one of their own.

Petrov's deep corner was headed back across goal by David Wheater and Steinsson was on hand to expertly volley past Reina from the penalty spot.

From that point on, Bolton appeared to be happy with their winning margin and sat back on their lead, preventing Liverpool from breaking forward when possible.

Reds boss Kenny Dalglish attempted to change the tide of the game midway through the second half, with Stewart Downing and Dirk Kuyt coming on for Adam and Maxi Rodriguez.

Carroll volleyed over the Bolton crossbar from inside the box soon after before Daniel Agger was allowed space deep in the Bolton half, before seeing a superb strike from fully 35-yards clip the top of Bogdan's bar.

Liverpool continued to press forward and after Downing had pulled the ball back for Carroll, the former Newcastle forward took a fresh-air shot and Wanderers survived the danger.

Bellamy shot straight at Bogdan as the game entered the final 10 minutes, before Eagles and Petrov both shot wide of the target at the other end as a highly entertaining affair came to a close with Wanderers coming out 3-1 winners.

After taking just nine points from their opening 16 games of the season, Wanderers have recorded 10 from their last six games and move out of the bottom three for the first time since October.

Next up for the Trotters is an FA Cup fourth round tie against Swansea City next Saturday, before Arsenal visit the Reebok in the Premier League on Wednesday week.

Bolton Wanderers: Bogdan, Steinsson, Knight, Wheater, Ricketts, Eagles (Tuncay 90), Reo-Coker, Muamba, Petrov, M Davies, Ngog (K Davies 88)
Subs Not Used: Lynch, Pratley, Boyata, O'Halloran, Riley
Goals: M Davies 4, Reo-Coker 29, Steinsson 50

Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Enrique, Rodriguez (Kuyt 64), Henderson, Adam (Downing 64), Bellamy, Gerrard, Carroll
Subs Not Used: Doni, Coates, Carragher, Shelvey, Kelly
Booked: Enrique, Kuyt
Goals: Bellamy 37

Referee: Kevin Friend
Attendance: 26,854

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
11 Ipswich Town 20 27
12 Cheltenham Town 19 27
13 Bolton Wanderers 20 26
14 Accrington Stanley 19 24
15 Charlton Athletic 20 23
View Full Standings >>


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