Wolves 0-0 Liverpool
This game really was the definition of the term stale mate. In fact it was that uneventful that I didn’t feel this column was long enough to post solo, so I delayed it until I could write about the Bolton game as well.
A good start for Liverpool with Riera glancing a header wide in the opening minutes. A very enthusiastic start to the game which unfortunately died out as the game progressed. So Riera unlucky within the first few minutes and then was unfortunate not to give Liverpool the lead later on when his mistimed volley almost looped under the crossbar before the alert Hahnemann saved. So Riera was looking lively but Gerrard was clearly lacking in match sharpness and our new signing, Maxi, still attempting to settle in to the speed of the Premier League. Both had to be expected and if only this hadn’t have been the case the score or even the play might have been more positive for Liverpool.
The play was certainly bad news for Liverpool. The midfield power of Karl Henry within Wolves’ 4-5-1 formation was a key feature in keeping the Merseysiders out. Wolves did have their chances though, for example when Jarvis broke down the wing and swung in a low cross which Doyle struck against Insua. The ball ended up going out.
Overall a bad result for the reds. 0-0 away to Wolves isn’t ever going to help you push for a Champions League place is it? But I guess the Anfield faithful have endured worse this season, Portsmouth and Sunderland away anyone? I guess the biggest bonus here is that my article this week becomes a lot more positive from this point.
Liverpool 2-0 Bolton.
Last time out at Anfield the Reds showcased a performance that destroyed Spurs and gave all Kopites hopes of conquering the mountain that 4th place has become. A start for Alberto Aquilani in place of Lucas, the change we all expected after the void was left by Alonso. New loan star Maxi would have to wait for his home debut as a place on the bench was all he could gain. And once again the greek defender Krygiakos made a starting appearence for the reds as Carragher filled the right back position left vacant due to the injury to Glen Johnson.
Bolton appeared to make all the early running in the game with a fantastic run from forward Chung Yong Lee, after he skipped past a few Liverpool defenders. Needless to say hearts were in mouths but fortunately the ball went right past Reina and Kyrgiakos was on the line to keep the score at 0-0. 37 minutes gone and a bit of frustration from the home fans at their teams inability to find an opener. However Dirkaldinho pops up once again when a cross from Insua is headed onto the foot of Kuyt for 1-0 Liverpool. Last major event of the 1st half was a penalty claim for Bolton. Personally I don’t think it was a pen, alright yes there was contact but nowhere near enough to send the player over.
The second half began with Liverpool uncharacteristically attacking the Anfield Road end. First big chance of the second period and it went to the home side. A break away effort saw Mascherano place a beautiful through ball to Gerrard who just couldn’t get past Davies. Unlucky but Liverpool looking good. That was not to be the last big chance for Gerrard as later on he had a great long range shot saved by the Bolton stopper Jaaskelainen. However the game was wrapped up on 70 minutes when a surging run by right back Jamie Carragher earns Liverpool a corner. The resulting corner eventually falls to Insua who’s deflected shot goes past Jaaskelainen to make it 2-0 to Liverpool and round off a very positive performance for Liverpool who’s fortunes may be changing; now unbeaten in their last 6 Premier League games.
As for a man of the match award I think several players were important to the result. Amongst those were left back Emiliano Insua who played a major role in both goals, his cross was headed to Kuyt for the first and his shot was deflected for the 2nd. As always I ask for your opinions on the man of the match award, the goals or anything else to do with England’s most historic football club.