|Saturday 7th February 2004
The Reebok Stadium
BOLTON 2-2 LIVERPOOL
|After this game: Pos 6th Pl 24 Pts 35|
|MATCH REPORT - Bolton Wanderers 2-2 Liverpool|
Steven Gerrard rescued a point for Liverpool and they remain in sight of a Champions League place.
Worryingly for manager Gerard Houllier, though, his side have now failed to win in four league games.
They were under the cosh for long spells at the Reebok Stadium and forced to dig deep.
Liverpool twice came from behind to put a slight dampener on Bolton manager Sam Allardyce's 100th Premiership game in charge of the club.
French forward Youri Djorkaeff returned to the home team replacing Stelios Giannakopoulos, who has an ankle injury.
On-loan defender Jon Otsemobor was on the bench for Bolton against his parent club.
Houllier named the side that drew with Everton last weekend as he looked to get back to winning ways.
Liverpool got off to a bright start as strong winds battered the Reebok Stadium.
Harry Kewell skipped away from Bolton defender Bruno N'Gotty after two minutes but his pass to Michael Owen was misdirected.
Owen lost his marker a minute later when Gerrard delivered a free kick, only for his header to find the arms of goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen.
Kewell then got away from Djorkaeff on the left but Emerson Thome covered superbly to avert the danger.
Bolton opened the scoring after 10 minutes with Nicky Hunt's first goal for the club.
N'Gotty launched a free-kick from the centre circle which caused confusion in the Liverpool defence.
Henrik Pedersen and Kevin Davies both got touches before Hunt rifled a shot home from the edge of the area.
Pedersen should have extended Bolton's lead after 17 minutes, only to clear the bar in front of goal.
This was a worrying spell for Liverpool against a team enjoying a good run of form.
Bolton went down to 10 men in the 21st minute when midfielder Kevin Nolan went off with a cut to his face.
However he re-emerged two minutes later, no doubt looking to improve on his nine-goal tally.
Hunt then played a neat one-two with Per Frandsen but goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek managed to parry his close range effort.
Liverpool hit back and Kewell skipped past Jaaskelainen but his touch let him down.
Liverpool were rattled by that goal and Jamie Carragher raced forward after 33 minutes.
He tried his luck from 20 yards, only to see his effort go the wrong side of the post.
Liverpool were beginning to find their rhythm and Owen twice got goalside of the home defence but could not make it count.
Bolton manager Allardyce was becoming agitated and referee Alan Wiley was forced to have a word with him just before the break.
Anthony Le Tallec squandered a glorious chance of levelling the scores in a stoppage time by blazing a shot over the top.
Liverpool won a free-kick 22 yards out after 48 minutes when substitute Ibrahim Ba was pulled up for a foul on Gerrard.
Cheyrou took the kick only to send his effort straight into the arms of Jaaskelainen.
However Liverpool equalised from a set piece three minutes later.
Sami Hyypia got on the end of a free kick from Gerrard out on the right to send a powerful header beyond Jaaskelainen.
Bolton regrouped and Djorkaeff edged them ahead again after 57 minutes with a superb half-volley.
The former World Cup winner reacted first when Davies clipped the ball into the area to deliver a clinical finish.
Djorkaeff may be 36 next month but the French forward remains a class act.
Liverpool boss Houllier brought off Cheyrou after 65 minutes and replaced him with Florent Sinama-Pongolle.
He saw his side draw level for the second time in the 69th minute through Gerrard.
The Anfield skipper ghosted in at the far post to get on the end of a cross from Le Tallec.
Liverpool pressed forward in an attempt to grab the winner and Gerrard worked his way to the byline.
He pulled the ball back into the path of Owen but he was not able to get a decent touch.
N'Gotty sent a free header wide and then Davies was denied by Dudek in a rousing finish by Bolton.
There is no question, however, Allardyce's side are an emerging force in the top flight.
Bolton Jaaskelainen, Hunt, N'Gotty, Thome, Barness, Campo, Nolan, Frandsen (Ba 26), Djorkaeff, Pedersen, Davies, Ba (Charlton 82).
Subs Not Used: Poole, Otsemobor, Javi Moreno.
Booked: Davies, Campo, Thome.
Liverpool Dudek, Finnan, Henchoz, Hyypia, Carragher, Le Tallec (Murphy 84), Hamann, Gerrard, Kewell, Owen, Cheyrou (Sinama Pongolle 65).
Subs Not Used: Luzi Bernardi, Riise, Biscan.
Booked: Finnan, Kewell.
Ref: A Wiley (Staffordshire).
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|Match Report filed: 10th February 2004|