After The Match 


Bolton-Liverpool 1-3 (0-1)             2.3.08                            PL
Goals: Jaaskelainen (10 og), Babel (60), Aurelio (75)     Cohen (79)
Team: Reina, Carragher, Aurelio, Skrtel, Hyypia, Mascherano, Gerrard, Alonso, Babel, Kuyt, Torres
Subs: Riise (Torres 78), Arbeloa (Kuyt 86)
Not used: Martin, Crouch, Benayoun
Yellow: Hyypia (35)          Rasiak (45), Davies (89)
Red: None
Referee: P Dowd
Attendance: 24,004
Shots on target: 2-6
Shots off target: 5-6
Blocked shots: 0-4
Fouls conceded: 10-15
Corners: 3-10
Offsides: 1-2
Possession: 45.5-54.5
Yellow: 2-1
Red: 0-0
to keep together and keep fighting to the end."

Steven Gerrard

0303: Babel's pledge on form
0203: Benitez: West Ham game crucial if Liverpool...
0203: Megson: No blame for Jussi
0203: Jussi gaffe gifts Reds win 


Babel's 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 team.

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 Liverpool.

“But the most important thing was the performance of the team.

“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 saves.

“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 right in
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 recovered.

Ryan Babel and Fabio Aurelio extended their lead before Tamir Cohen, son of former Liverpool favourite Avi, pulled a goal back.

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 league.

“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 late.

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."

Jussi 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 Alonso corner.

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 the break.

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 post.

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 competitions.

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.

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Thor Zakariassen ©