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Last Updated: Sunday, 29 August, 2004, 17:00 GMT 18:00 UK
Bolton 1-0 Liverpool
Liverpool's players show their anger at having an equaliser disallowed for offside
Liverpool suffered their first League loss of the season as Kevin Davies led Bolton to third place in the table with a first-half winner.

Davies was Bolton's hero against a fragmented Liverpool, who had Xabi Alonso and Luis Garcia making debuts.

The unmarked Davies coolly gathered and powered in a shot before a Radhi Jaidi header and a Jay-Jay Okocha drive were saved by visiting keeper Jerzy Dudek.

Garcia had an effort harshly disallowed for offside late on.

Liverpool's new Spanish signings Alonso and Garcia both started and were part of a five-man midfield.

Milan Baros was given a lone striker role as Djibril Cisse was relegated to the bench and Harry Kewell was omitted altogether.

There was a lack of fluency to the match early on and the visitors were dealt a blow when centre-back Sami Hyypia was replaced by Djimi Traore because of a broken nose.

Dietmar Hamann shot tamely wide after 21 minutes before Jamie Carragher came to Liverpool's rescue at the other end as the game began to come to life.

Steven Gerrard, like Liverpool, was kept in check by Bolton whose Gary Speed (left) and Bruno N'Gotty close the visitors' midfielder down
Gerrard, like Liverpool, was kept in check by Bolton

Carragher got in a vital block as an in-rushing Gary Speed flung himself to try and divert Davies' flick-on into keeper Dudek's net.

Bolton playmaker Okocha then produced some trademark trickery to get in a cross but Stelios Giannakopoulos' header was too close to Dudek, who safely gathered the ball.

A slide rule Alonso pass found Steven Gerrard from the left wing but the Reds skipper's control was not ideal before he shot wide.

The unfamiliarity of the Liverpool side saw them struggle for any rhythm and Bolton took advantage when Davies gave them the lead.

Pedersen burst past right-back Josemi and his low cross to the far post was coolly slotted home from close range by Davies.

Cisse came on for Stephen Warnock after the interval but Bolton were the first to attack, with Dudek forced into a smart save from Davies.

A scrambling Dudek had to save a header from Jaidi and an Okocha shot next as Liverpool continued to struggle.

Garcia slotted past keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen late on but his joy was shortlived as he was seemingly wrongly flagged for offside.

Cisse almost took advantage of a mistake in the home defence only to shoot high as Bolton held on comfortably for the win.


Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Hunt, N'Gotty, Jaidi, Gardner, Okocha (Hierro 85), Campo, Speed, Giannakopoulos (Nolan 75), Davies (Ferdinand 72), Pedersen. Subs Not Used: Poole, Cesar.

Booked: Nolan, Hierro.

Goals: Davies 38.

Liverpool: Dudek, Josemi, Carragher, Hyypia (Traore 14), Riise, Luis Garcia, Alonso, Hamann, Warnock (Cisse 45), Gerrard, Baros. Subs Not Used: Diao, Biscan, Harrison.

Att: 27,880

Ref: U Rennie (S Yorkshire).




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Interview: Bolton boss Sam Allardyce





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