Liverpool snatch vital late winner at Bolton

Bolton 0 Liverpool 1

Maxi Rodriguez struck a late winner at Bolton as relieved Liverpool finally climbed out of the Barclays Premier League relegation zone today.

The Argentinian latched onto a brilliant Fernando Torres backheel to settle a competitive encounter at the Reebok Stadium four minutes from time.

Both sides created numerous chances in an evenly-matched contest but Liverpool left satisfied knowing their near month-long stay in the bottom three was over.

The match had looked like bringing more frustration for Liverpool and under-pressure boss Roy Hodgson as Sotirios Krygiakos twice went close and Torres squandered a good early opportunity.

The win drew them level on points with Bolton, who had been enjoying their best start for four years and were looking set for a seventh draw of the campaign.

They might even have won it themselves had a late Kevin Davies glancing header fallen the right side of the post.

Hodgson named the same Liverpool team for the third successive Premier League game as he attempted to instil the cohesion they have been lacking.

It initially appeared to work as the Reds, hoping to build on last week's morale-boosting win over Blackburn, started confidently and created two early chances for Torres.

The first came after three minutes as Steven Gerrard swung in a corner but Torres could not keep his header on target.

His next chance came just five minutes later but, despite netting last week's winner, the Spaniard still showed signs of the rustiness that has hampered him all season.

Torres raced through on goal from a Gerrard pass but delayed a shot and then mis-kicked as he attempted to stab past Jussi Jaaskelainen from close range.

Bolton's first attempt on goal came when Stuart Holden blasted a free-kick at the wall from 25 yards.

After that Bolton gave as good as they got and Jose Reina parried a vicious Holden volley from distance after the US international was teed up by Davies.

The hosts appealed for a penalty as Lee Chung-yong cut inside from the left and went down under a challenge from Jamie Carragher but referee Martin Atkinson played on to few complaints.

Liverpool attacked back but Cole scooped a long-range effort well over the bar and Gerrard did likewise from a free-kick.

Fabrice Muamba shot from long range for Bolton but his effort curved well away from goal.

Torres set up Gerrard but the Reds skipper drove wide from the edge of the box.

Taylor tested Reina with two free-kicks just before the break but the Spaniard managed to smother both attempts and Carragher survived another penalty appeal after the faintest of touches with the hand.

Krygiakos, goalscorer in two of the previous three league games, forced Jaaskelainen to save from a Gerrard cross in injury time.

Bolton made the early running in the second half and twice forced Liverpool to clear unconvincingly without creating a clear-cut chance.

Gerrard tried to raise Liverpool's fading tempo with a powerful run and long ball for Torres, but a promising attack was ended as Muamba collided with Lucas.

Gerrard found good space on the edge of the box but his shot was deflected into the air and claimed easily by Jaaskelainen.

Liverpool suffered a blow just after the hour as Cole was forced off with what looked like a hamstring injury and was replaced by David Ngog.

Krygiakos again went close when Gerrard picked him out from a corner but this time headed narrowly over.

Krygiakos was then involved at the other end after bundling into Davies but Atkinson deemed the Bolton captain to have gone down too easily.

Liverpool might have been struggling to produce the intensity their fans demanded but pieced together a move of genuine quality as Rodriguez finally got into the game midway through the second half.

Rodriguez sent Gerrard away down the left with a clever backheel and the captain whipped in a cross for Torres.

Torres nodded back down for Rodriguez to attempt a spectacular overhead kick which went just inches over. Bolton replied as in-form Johan Elmander, looking for his first home goal of the season after hitting five away, showed great control and drove just wide of the post.

Zat Knight then headed over from the resulting corner and Davies also glanced a header wide from a free-kick as the Trotters enjoyed a strong spell.

But Liverpool roused themselves late on and carved Bolton open with a delightful move to set up the winner for Rodriguez.

Torres was the creator as he nutmegged Gary Cahill with a clever backheel and Rodriguez raced through.

The Argentinian showed great composure as he clipped the ball in off the body of Jaaskelainen.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor