pledge on form
By Tony Barrett - Liverpool Echo
Ryan Babel today pledged to follow up his
best performance yet for Liverpool with even more
"beautiful" displays in a red shirt.
As well as scoring Liverpool’s second goal in a resounding
3-1 win at Bolton yesterday, the Dutch star terrorised Gary
Megson’s side throughout.
And despite being satisfied with his own performance, Babel
insists there is more to come from both himself and the
He said: “I think that was one of my better games for
Liverpool and I felt more confident as the game went on.
“I still think I will improve some more though because I am
still getting used to football in this country.
“The game is a lot more physically demanding here than I was
used to in Holland but I feel I am much stronger now
compared to the beginning of the season.
“I am not where I want to be just yet but hopefully soon I
will find my level and I can play beautiful football for
“But the most important thing was the performance of the
“We trained really well in the week leading up to the Bolton
game and we took the confidence from that into this match.”
Babel was delighted with his goal which took the game away
from Bolton and he followed it up with a somersault
celebration every bit as spectacular as his strike.
But the 21-year-old insists he won’t be following up every
goal he scores with similar displays of gymnastic artistry.
“I’m very happy with the goal because it was important that
we scored the second to kill the game, so I am grateful for
that,” he said.
“We kept pushing forward for the second and I always felt it
would come, even though Jaaskelainen made some fantastic
“So when I scored my goal I was really happy and that was
why I celebrated like I did.
“But I won’t be doing it all the time. I will save it for
the special moments.”
Benitez: West Ham game crucial
if Liverpool are to finish fourth
Liverpool Daily Post
Rafael Benitez believes Liverpool are
the frame to clinch a Champions League place.
Benitez’s side followed up last weekend’s Barclays Premier
League win against Middlesbrough by beating Bolton 3-1 at
the Reebok Stadium today.
It was a sweet success for the Spanish coach, given the
club’s miserable record on the ground.
A bizarre own goal from Jussi Jaaskelainen after 11 minutes
sent Liverpool on their way to an emphatic victory.
The Bolton goalkeeper turned a shot from Steven Gerrard into
his own net with his face and his side never really
Ryan Babel and Fabio Aurelio extended their lead before
Tamir Cohen, son of former Liverpool favourite Avi, pulled a
Liverpool now entertain West Ham on Wednesday in good heart
after this comfortable victory.
Benitez said: “Every win is important when you are fighting
for fourth place.
“You need to put the other teams around you under pressure
and we have done that today.
“As we have a game in hand, it depends on what we do. You do
not need to see the table every day.
“If we can win against West Ham, then we go go into the game
after that with confidence.”
Skipper Steven Gerrard told Setanta Sports 1: “As captain
of the team, we are disappointed with where we are in the
“We need to keep together and keep fighting to the end.
“It was massive result. We have been inconsistent so it’s
important to get the points.”
Benitez reiterated he is content at Anfield and claimed his
focus was on winning matches and not his future plans.
“I am really happy here at Liverpool,” he said. “At this
moment, though, I am only thinking about our games.”
Benitez had some sympathy for Jaaskelainen, but added: “It
was disappointing for him but good for us.
“Sometimes these things happen and we went on to play well
after a difficult opening few minutes.
“We knew if we did not pass the ball then we could get drawn
into a physical game.
“We needed to play at a high tempo and keep our
concentration and we did that.”
Megson: No blame for Jussi
By Peter Fraser - Sky Sports
Bolton manager Gary Megson has defended
Jussi Jaaskelainen after the goalkeeper's gaffe handed
Liverpool a 3-1 win at the Reebok Stadium.
Jaaskelainen fumbled a low and wide 12th minute drive from
Steven Gerrard to gift Liverpool the lead before Ryan Babel
and Fabio Aurelio secured the win.
Tamir Cohen headed a 77th minute consolation for
relegation-threatened Bolton, but it was too little too
And while Megson does not solely blame Jaaskelainen, he
admits his side were always fighting an uphill battle.
"Jussi is a fantastic goalkeeper," said Megson. "He made two
great saves after that.
"He has held his hands up but these balls move quite a bit
in the air and it came back and hit him in the face.
"The first goal can be vital and it took the wind out of our
sails. We got picked off rather too easily."
And Megson confesses it is going to be a nervy end to the
season as Bolton, who sit level on points with third from
bottom Reading, bid to maintain their Premier League status.
"It is going to be close from now until the end of the
season," Megson told Bolton's official website.
"We have 10 tough games coming up, as have the rest of the
teams down there."
gaffe gifts Reds win
By Peter Fraser - Sky Sports
Bolton goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen
produced a torrid own goal to help Liverpool move up to
fourth in the Premier League with a 3-1 win
at the Reebok Stadium.
The Trotters had dominated the opening stages, but on 12
minutes Jaaskelainen fumbled low 25-yard drive from
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard to turn the wide effort
into his own net.
Things then continued in flowing style with the visitors
looking dangerous on the counter-attack, while Bolton were
only denied an equaliser when Liverpool goalkeeper Jose
Reina expertly saved from the head of Kevin Davies.
Liverpool, though, then dominated after the interval and on
60 minutes Ryan Babel - who impressed throughout - was on
hand to drive in after Dirk Kuyt had hit the post and Gary
Cahill failed to clear.
Fifteen minutes later Fabio Aurelio scored his first for
Liverpool, and the Merseyside outfit's third, as the
Brazilian volleyed in from the edge of the area at a Xabi
Bolton substitute Tamir Cohen also opened his account as he
headed in a 77th minute consolation from a precise Matt
Taylor corner, but Liverpool held on for the victory.
The home side could have been two goals to the good inside
the first 10 minutes.
El Hadji Diouf's free-kick beat Reina in the fifth minute
only to come back off the post and four minutes later Ivan
Campo swung in a corner from the left and Joey O'Brien
peeled away from his marker.
O'Brien managed to get in a shot at the back post but
Gerrard made the clearance.
Liverpool made the breakthrough in bizarre fashion after 11
minutes when Gerrard's effort appeared to be going wide.
However, Jaaskelainen made a hash of it and inexplicably
turned the ball into his own net.
Jaaskelainen redeemed himself in the 18th minute by turning
over a rasping drive from Babel after he had latched on to a
good ball from Gerrard.
Bolton almost drew level in the 27th minute when Kevin Nolan
picked out Davies with a marvellous cross, but Reina made a
superb save low down to his left.
Davies turned provider two minutes later. He clipped the
ball through to Nolan, who had sprung the offside trap, only
for Reina to make the block.
Babel was a threat every time he had the ball and stung
Jaaskelainen's hands with a powerful effort a minute before
Liverpool were in the ascendancy and it was little surprise
they extended their lead in the 59th minute.
Jamie Carragher whipped in a cross from the right and found
Kuyt only for his smart volley to come back back off the
Cahill got the ball away but only as far as Babel, who swept
his effort beyond Jaaskelainen.
It was now an uphill task for Bolton given that they had
scored only two goals in their last four games in all
Liverpool made it 3-0 in the 75th minute with a superb
strike from Aurelio when there seemed little on. He took the
ball on his chest before smashing a shot beyond Jaaskelainen
from the edge of the area.
Bolton to their credit, however, refused to lie down and
pulled a goal back four minutes later.
Cohen, son of former Liverpool favourite Avi, ghosted in to
head home a corner from Taylor.
Bolton may be in the last 16 of the UEFA Cup but the
prospect of second tier football next season is all too real
as Gary Megson's team are only outside the relegation zone
on goal difference.