Bolton Wanderers 3-1 Liverpool – Match Review

Bolton moved themselves out of the relegation zone after beating a slack Liverpool side to record only their second win at the Reebok Stadium this season.

OWen Coyle’s side had lost eight of their 10 home games and hadn’t been victorious in front of their own supports since beating Stoke 5-0 back in November. However goals from Mark Davies, Nigel Reo Coker and Gretar Steinsson sealed an unlikely success against Kenny Dalglish’s side as their hopes of Champions League football suffered a massive hit with Craig Bellamy scoring their consolation. At the other end of the table the Trotters provided themselves with a huge boost in their bid for survival moving out of the bottom three in a game that could prove to be a huge turning point in their season. As for Liverpool they’ll be once again ruing their inability to score goals as a blunt attack featuring Bellamy and misfiring Andy Carroll failed to break down a Bolton defence that has conceded 47 goals in 21 games.

It’s in stark contrast to the visiting back four that has the second best defensive record in the Premier League but it took only four minutes for Bolton to breach it as Davies fired low into the bottom corner after striding unchallenged from just inside the opposition half. That seemed to stun the Liverpool rearguard into a sense of bewilderment as,moments later the usually reliable Jose Enrique lost possession to Chris Eagles on the right only for his cross to evade every white shirt in the penalty. Dalglish’s side struggled to get themselves into the game but finally sparked into life as they appealed to referee Kevin Friend for a penalty after the ball appeared to hit Zat Knights hand. The official merely brushed away any pleas and the Reds found themselves two down as Eagles picked his way through a gap in the 27th minute before dinking the ball over for Re0-Coker to finish from six-yards. The away side upped their efforts after that and halved the deficit eight minutes before half time as Bellamy raced onto Carroll’s flick before clipping the ball over Adam Bogdan.

The Reds seemed to increase their momentum after break in search of an equaliser but their hopes of a comeback were dashed early in the second half as Steinsson volleyed past Pepe Reina after David Wheater had rose highest to nod Martin Petrov’s corner across goal. Liverpool laboured after that with Daniel Agger hitting the bar with a stinging 25-yard drive and Bellamy testing Bogdan with a tame low shot. However Dalglish’s men failed to sufficiently threaten the Bolton defence as Coyle’s men gave themselves a timely lift with games against Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City on the horizon.