Liverpool beat Bolton 2-1 in the FA Cup on Wednesday evening, having trailed with five minutes remaining. Raheem Sterling and Philippe Coutinho scored the all important goals to send the Reds through.
Bolton 1-2 Liverpool
FA Cup – Macron Stadium – Wednesday, 4th February 2015
Goals: Sterling (86), Coutinho (90); Gudjohnsen pen (59)
Sent-off: Danns (66)
Brendan Rodgers made just two changes to the side that dispatched of West Ham 2-0 at Anfield on Saturday, with both alterations coming in midfield.
The in-form duo of Lucas Leiva and Jordan Henderson were replaced by Steven Gerrard and Joe Allen, in what was the former’s 700th Liverpool appearance. Lucas reportedly missed the game through injury.
The Reds were in their usual 3-4-2-1 formation, and they started promisingly. Gerrard’s side-footed effort tested Andy Lonergan early on, Philippe Coutinho dragged a shot wide and Raheem Sterling almost opened the scoring too.
David Wheater had a glorious chance to head Bolton in front, but could only put his effort straight at Simon Mignolet. Neil Lennon’s side were posing a threat, and the Reds didn’t have the same control of the midfield with Lucas and Henderson not in it.
Sterling hit the post with a curling shot after 30 minutes, while Coutinho bent a strike just wide. At half-time it was goalless, and it had been far from vintage Liverpool.
Rodgers made no changes at the interval, as his side looked to kick on and book their place in the fifth round of the FA Cup.
Sterling twice had chances to open the scoring, but was denied on the second attempt by Lonergan. Henderson replaced the hugely disappointing Lallana after 54 minutes.
In the 58th minute, Bolton were awarded a penalty following a foul by Martin Skrtel on Zach Clough. It was harsh, but Eidur Gudjohnsen stroked home the spot-kick.
Liverpool had it all do to stay in the cup, and Fabio Borini replaced the injured Lazar Markovic in the 65th minute. A minute later Neil Danns was sent-off for a yellow card, giving the visitors renewed hope.
Daniel Sturridge was Rodgers’ final substitution with 20 minutes remaining. Gudjohnsen had a wonderful chance to make it 2-0, but he headed straight at Mignolet.
Emre Can saw a long-range effort deflect wide, while Henderson’s shot then hit the post via a Bolton defender. It was getting desperate.
The ball would simply not go in in the dying minutes, with Lonergan superbly tipping Emre Can‘s strike onto the bar, but with four minutes remaining Liverpool were level.
Can’s terrific pass found Sterling, and the 20-year-old finished clinically on the volley in front the ecstatic away fans.
In stoppage-time Rodgers’ men nicked it, and it was a stunning moment of individual class by Coutinho. The 22-year-old curled the ball past Lonergan, and it flew off the underside of the bar and into the net.
Liverpool are through to the fifth round, and it had been a hugely nervy, but ultimately dramatic, evening.
Liverpool: Mignolet, Can, Skrtel, Sakho, Markovic (Borini 65), Allen (Sturridge 70), Gerrard, Moreno, Coutinho, Lallana (Henderson 55), Sterling.
Subs not used: Ward, Johnson, Lambert, Manquillo.
Bolton starting XI: Lonergan, Moxey, Wheater, Mills, Dervite, Ream, Vela, Feeney, Danns, Clough, Gudjohnsen
Referee: Roger East