Liverpool 2-0 Bolton

Premier League
Saturday 30 January 2010 - 3:00 pm
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Kuyt celebrates sending Liverpool in to the lead – Photo from fOTOGLIF

Liverpool secured their first ‘double’ in the Premier League by dispatching Owen Coyle’s Bolton side 2-0 at Anfield.

It could, and probably should, have been an even wider margin, as the reds took advantage of Spurs away draw at Birmingham to close the gap on 4th place to one point.

Lucas Leiva made way for Alberto Aquilani with Ngog moving up front and Kuyt replacing Rodriguez on the wing.

The reds, kicking towards the Kop in the first half, started slowly but eventually began to produce some decent football and N’gog’s pace caused trouble for the Bolton back line.  Aquilani showed against Spurs that he relishes being played off the striker, but being asked to do Lucas’ job is clearly not ideal for the Italian who struggled as a partner for Mascherano.

Kyrgiakos, who has been a revelation since his involvement in the reds defence, cleared an attempt off the goal-line in a rare fright for the hosts.

Just past the half hour mark, Liverpool’s passing clicked in to gear when Riera found Insua with a fine pass. Another great cross to the back post followed, and it was Aquilani who headed the ball back down for Kuyt to fire home.

The reds had another excellent opportunity early in the second half when another fine Insua cross found Gerrard. His powerful shot was palmed away by the keeper but when it was easier to score, N’gog managed to put the ball on to the crossbar.

The chances were beginning to flow now and after a tepid 65 minutes Leiva was brought on for Aquilani. For a defensive midfielder his impact was immediate.

Reds pressure continued and within minutes the ball was hunted down and returned to Insua who fired a shot goal-bound. It took a wicked deflection off Kevin Davies which wrong footed the keeper to put the reds 2-0 up.

The reds continued to chase down the third and the final 20 minutes were of solid Liverpool pressure.  A free kick almost found Lucas’ head and Babel created some space but fired over the cross-bar.

The reds finished the game strong, with signs that confidence is re-appearing to lighten the mood over Anfield.

Man of the Match: A number of players had good games – Insua, Kyrgiakos and Kuyt amongst them. But we’ve plumped for Mascherano

Post Match Comments

Rafa Benitez

“I am pleased with the result and the second half but not too happy with the first half – but at the end of the day we needed to win and we won.

“In the first half they had two chances and we were a little lucky but in the second half it was different and we could have scored more goals.

“I think we are improving. Clearly you can see the team is working hard.”

3 comments on
Liverpool 2-0 Bolton

  1. Little by little we are gaining ground at last ! The midweek blip seemed to continue into the first half performance however we road our luck and managed to put the game to bed in the second half and produced some fine attacking play in the process.

    The inclusion of Riera today gave us much more of a threat going down the lefthand side and i was exeptionally pleased with Mascha again producing a stunning performance. The likes of Insua ‘Kerry-ackles’ Kuyt and Aquaman seemed to gain in confidence as the game went on and we saw some good stuff form them.

    The next few games will be massive and i think if we can manage to win both or win one draw one then we will be in good shape going in to the long old push to the end ! Y.N.W.A.

  2. Only caught the highlights on MOTD (I was working – don’t normally miss the reds).

    Have to say we looked much better than most of this season. Notable absentees are Johnson (Carragher is trying but just doesn’t cut it as a right back) and Torres (probably would have been 4 or 5 if he had been playing).

    Rafa is the best manager Liverpool could have at the moment. How he manages to keep his cool and not rip in to the owners should be applauded. Considering he has had money ripped away in the last four transfer windows he is sticking to his guns.

    I’ll be exceptionally sad to see him go in the summer. The only people I want to leave are the two ridiculous debt-laden owners who are ruining my club for me.

  3. Second half performance much more like we’ve come to expect. Dominant, quality of passing.

    Great to see so many players who have been in ill form stepping up to the plate – such as Insua and Kuyt.

    Gerrard’s still got a way to go – he’s been my disappointment of the season.

    But we’re looking brighter. And well done to the fans who stayed behind after the game to protest against the two criminals who are ripping the financial heart out of the club.

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