Hardly a classic but Maxi pokes three vital points

Maxi Rodriguez’s 86th minute goal gave Liverpool a vital win at the Reebok Stadium to move the Reds out of the relegation zone.

Liverpool's Martin Skrtel (R) challenges Bolton Wanderers' Kevin Davies for the ball during their English Premier League soccer match at the Reebok Stadium in Bolton, northern England, October 31, 2010. REUTERS/Phil Noble (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT SOCCER IMAGES OF THE DAY) NO ONLINE/INTERNET USAGE WITHOUT A LICENCE FROM THE FOOTBALL DATA CO LTD. FOR LICENCE ENQUIRIES PLEASE TELEPHONE ++44 (0)

The Argentine winger toe poked the ball past Jussi Jaaskelainen after a beautiful back heel from Fernando Torres. Sending the travelling Reds delirious.

After the 2-1 home win over Blackburn last week, just the second league win of Roy Hodgson’s reign so far, Hodgson went looking for his first away win in 442 days. He kept with the same side, meaning Lucas and Raul Merieles in midfield, Jamie Carragher at right back and Maxi and Cole on the wings.

Liverpool started well, Torres over-running the ball on a glorious chance inside ten minutes. But Bolton then grew into the game and had the better of the play in the first half, Stuart Holden testing Pepe Reina with a volley from outside the box.

Joe Cole’s injury and introduction of David Ngog seemed to work in Liverpool’s favour and they got the breakthrough they needed late on.

Sotirios Kyrgiakos was again impressive, causing problems aerially. Fellow centre back Martin Skrtel also enjoyed possibly his best performance of the season, stifling the attacking threat of Kevin Davies.

It was far from a vintage display, especially form Messrs. Gerrard and Torres, but the three points are huge and hopefully the team can carry the momentum from two successive wins into next Sunday’s league clash with Chelsea. Before then they face the distraction of the Europa League, FC Utrecht visiting Anfield on Thursday.

Not so sure many fans will agree with Hodgson’s post-match comments about this being a “famous win” but vital it was.

Our full match report will follow later.

Post Match Comments

ROY HODGSON: “I’m beginning to realise there is grit in the team as the wins against Blackburn and Bolton show we are capable of standing up to the test.

“I’m hoping we’ll be able to build on that and get ourselves back to where we think Liverpool FC belongs.”

OWEN COYLE: “I don’t think we deserved to lose the game.

“The application and effort was first class and I thought we dominated the game for long periods without having too many clear-cut opportunities.

“But I thought we had a penalty in the first half from a clear handball from Jamie Carragher, possibly a penalty in the second half for the push on Kevin Davies”

BOLTON: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Cahill, Knight, Robinson, Lee (Moreno 74), Holden, Muamba, Taylor (Blake 88), Davies, Elmander (Klasnic 81)
Subs not used: Bogdan, Ricketts, Cohen Davies
Booked: Steinsson, Taylor

LIVERPOOL: Reina, Konchesky, Carragher, Kyrgiakos, Skrtel, Lucas, Meireles (Poulsen 88), Maxi, Cole (Ngog 61), Gerrard, Torres
Subs not used: Hansen, Kelly, Spearing, Shelvey, Jovanovic
Booked: Konchesky, Skrtel
Goal: Maxi (86)

Referee: Martin Atkinson
Attendance: 25, 171 (Reebok Stadium, Bolton)