03 March 2008

Jussi Jaaskelainen error inspires Liverpool

By Phil Shaw
Last Updated: 12:55am GMT 03/03/2008
Bolton Wanderers (0) 1 Liverpool (1) 3

For Liverpool, it seems, it must be either feast or famine; comfort zone or crisis. Inspired against Inter Milan after embarrassment by Barnsley, Rafael Benitez's side lurched between the extremes in the space of one game, before inflicting a third successive defeat on relegation-threatened Bolton.
Liverpool, who had to look back to 2002 for their previous success at the Reebok Stadium, needed a bizarre headed own goal by Jussi Jaaskelainen to stop Bolton's bright start in its tracks. Ryan Babel doubled the margin as they assumed control in the second half, and left-back Fabio Aurelio joined in the spree before substitute Tamir Cohen's belated riposte.
Victory, and a boost to their goal difference, ensured that Liverpool kept the pressure on Everton and Aston Villa in the scrap for the fourth Champions League place. It also provided a welcome fillip for Benitez after the apparent implied criticism of him by his captain, Steven Gerrard, in the club magazine.
Gerrard had suggested that the aim of finishing fourth was undignified for a club with Liverpool's resources and history. Pressed about his remarks after an outstanding individual display, the captain insisted they were meant as a rallying call rather than as negative comment. "We've been slightly inconsistent," he said in a masterpiece of understatement. "Now we can move on to Wednesday's match [home to West Ham] full of confidence. We're disappointed to be where we are in the league, so it's important that we all stick together."
Benitez brushed aside questions about reports that he is to be offered a new contract as part of the power struggle between Liverpool's American owners, Tom Hicks and George Gillett. "I was surprised with two or three things [in the press]," said Benitez, who has 2½ years left on his current deal. "I'm just thinking about games, and nothing else."
Gary Megson, for whom defeat followed good weekend results for several other teams battling the drop, believed his side needed to mark their initial ascendancy with a goal. "As in every game, the first goal was vital," the Bolton manager said. "It took the wind out of our sails and we got picked off on the break. Now we've got 10 really big games ahead of us."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...




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