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Match Report


Posted Sat 27 Aug 11 at 20:01 PM

Report: Liverpool 3 Wanderers 1

Ivan Klasnic scored for the third successive Premier League game, however Wanderers were edged out at Anfield as Liverpool ran out 3-1 winners.

Jordan Henderson curled the hosts ahead with a quarter of an hour played before quick-fire goals after half-time from Martin Skrtel and Charlie Adam gave Kenny Dalglish's side a firm stranglehold on the game.

In stoppage time Bolton reduced arrears when Klasnic swept a loose ball under Pepe Reina, continuing his fine start to the new campaign

Liverpool 3 Bolton 1

Owen Coyle reverted back to the same starting line-up from the opening two Premier League games with Ivan Klasnic and Kevin Davies - both goalscorers against Manchester City - selected to spearhead the attack. Joe Riley, who made his full debut against Macclesfield, was included on the bench with Gretar Steinsson passed fit.

Bolton had to soak up large periods of pressure in the first half as Liverpool made the most of the home advantage.

In the early exchanges, Charlie Adam saw a free-kick deflected wide, Jussi Jaaskelainen collected well from Jose Enrique cross and Paul Robinson made a vital sliding clearance on Stewart Downing after the former Villa man had escaped and embarked on a rapid counter-attack.

The opening goal arrived on 15 minutes through the left boot of Jordan Henderson. The summer signing, recruited for £16m from Sunderland, curled the ball into the top corner from just inside the area after reacting quickest to a fine save by Jussi Jaaskelainen.

Luis Suarez's cross from the left was volleyed goalwards by Stewart Downing, but when the ball landed at Henderson's feet following the Bolton goalkeeper's block, the midfielder cut inside Nigel Reo-Coker before sending the ball into the back of the net.

Bolton's response to going a goal down was positive, with Martin Petrov bringing Pepe Reina into the action for the first time with a scorching volley which was destined for the bottom corner of the goal. That was until Liverpool's Spanish stopper got himself into a position to make a decisive block at his near post.

With just 25 minutes on the clock, Coyle decided it was time for a change as Mark Davies replaced Fabrice Muamba in the centre of the park to help combat the threat of Liverpool's five man midfield.

The former Wolves man's nimble footwork brought more creativity to Bolton's play, with this particularly evident when Davies collected the ball in his own half before jinking past several tackles en route to troubling Reina with a skidding shot from the edge of the area.

Liverpool, though, continued to look threatening in attack. Dirk Kuyt fired narrowly over prior to a controversial talking point on the stroke of half-time when Gretar Steinsson was adjudged to have handled the ball just inches outside the area. The eleven Liverpool players, along with 40,000 fans, felt that the full-back's touch had been inside the box but, crucially, referee Lee Probert disagreed.

There was another big shout for a penalty kick just a minute after the restart when Suarez took a tumble under a challenge with Zat Knight. The Kop cried for the referee to point to the spot, however, once again he made another tight call, deeming that the Uruguay striker had gone to ground too easily.

Liverpool netted their second goal on 50 minutes with substitute Martin Skrtel powering in a header from Adam's corner. The central defender met the former Blackpool man's delivery cleanly, leaving Jaaskelainen with very little chance.

No sooner had Wanderers regrouped and Liverpool bagged their third of the evening, with Adam this time turning scorer.

Collecting possession 40 yards from goal, the summer recruit took the ball in his stride before firing in the bottom corner of the net with his right foot.

Tuncay was handed his Premier League debut shortly before the hour mark as the Bolton boss shuffled his pack again in search of a method to get his team back into the contest.

The Turk initially took up a position on the right side of midfield prior to moving as a central striker when Coyle swapped Kevin Davies for Darren Pratley with his third and final substitution.

Liverpool, buoyed by their lead, continued to put the Bolton defence under pressure as the second-half ticked by, most notably when Suarez hit the side-netting from a tight angle, but Coyle's charges stuck with their opponents in the final half hour.

Jamie Carragher threw his body in front of a Klasnic effort and Reo-Coker sliced wide with a long range attempt. But those two efforts typified Wanderers' luck, with nothing seemingly going their way in the final third - that was up until virtually the last kick of the game when Klasnic scored in his third successive game.

The Croatian swept the ball under Reina after Petrov had galloped free down the left. It was a tidy finish from the number 17, with his goal offering the travelling fans a late consolation.

Wanderers now take a two-week break from action with the international fixtures taking place next weekend.

Liverpool: Reina, Enrique, Agger, Suarez (Carroll 77), Henderson (Maxi 77), Kuyt, Downing, Lucas, Carragher, Adam, Kelly (Skrtel 29) (Subs not used: Spearing, Doni, Shelvey, Robinson)

Wanderers: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Cahill, Knight, Robinson, Eagles (Tuncay 57), Muamba (Mark Davies 25), Reo-Coker, Petrov, Klasnic, Kevin Davies (Pratley 72) (Subs not used: Bogdan, Wheater, Riley, Blake)

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