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Last Updated: Monday, 1 January 2007, 14:38 GMT
Liverpool 3-0 Bolton
By Jonathan Stevenson

Peter Crouch shows fabulous technique to score Liverpool's opener
Crouch showed fabulous technique to score Liverpool's opener
Liverpool climbed above Bolton to third in the Premiership after a superb second-half performance at Anfield.

Peter Crouch grabbed the first, the striker majestically volleying in from eight yards after fine approach play from Dirk Kuyt and Jermaine Pennant.

Kuyt was again involved two minutes later as Steven Gerrard brilliantly volleyed in the Dutchman's cross.

After Jussi Jaaskelainen saved well from Sami Hyypia, Kuyt got his goal by drilling under the Bolton goalkeeper.

The second-half drubbing was largely what Bolton deserved for an apathetic display during which they failed to muster a single shot on target.

Unbeaten at home in the league for 27 games now, their best run since 1981, Liverpool kicked off 2007 in lively fashion as they surged at Bolton from the start.

With plenty of width provided by Mark Gonzalez and Pennant they tested Bolton's defence early on, Gerrard lashing wide and Kuyt's goalbound volley bravely blocked by Abdoulaye Faye.

Bolton did not want to give third place up easily and they soon settled into their customary rhythm of breaking up the play, though they never looked like creating much.

To Liverpool's credit they matched their opponents' physical ability and continued to probe for an opening, with Pennant a constant threat down the right.

606: DEBATE
SM

The little winger was linking up well with Steve Finnan and after one move the right-back fired in a shot from 20 yards that Jaaskelainen did well to parry on to the bar.

Another impressive passing move lead to the ball falling at Xabi Alonso's feet 20 yards out, but the Spaniard's side-footed effort curled away from goal and narrowly wide of the target.

It was a different story after the break, as two goals in as many minutes got the home fans rocking.

Just after the hour mark Crouch conjured up a goal right out of the top drawer, acrobatically volleying in from eight yards after brilliant work from Kuyt and Pennant down the right.

Only 83 seconds later it was game over, as more fine approach play from Kuyt ended with the Dutchman crossing for Gerrard to superbly volley into the top corner.

Stunned by the suddenness of their demise, Bolton fell apart.

Crouch fired at Jaaskelainen then headed over when he should have scored, before Sami Hyypia forced a wonder save from his fellow Finn with a header from a corner.

Bolton's reprieve was short-lived, as Kuyt got the goal his all-action display deserved by latching on to Luis Garcia's pass and firing under Jaaskelainen into the far corner.

Top of the Premiership's form table, Liverpool have started the new year just as they ended the last one.


  • Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard:
    "It was the perfect start to the new year and we played some really good football.

    It's been a great week for me personally but personal things are put on one side when you go onto the pitch.

    "My goal was really nice. I was really quiet second half but I was pleased with the goal."

  • Bolton manager Sam Allardyce
    "I could smell it coming to be honest. It was a game too many from our point of view.  

    "I don't think we've got anything like the sort of energy that was needed to continue to keep Liverpool out and finally we cracked in the end.

    "The two finishes from Crouch and Gerrard were first class and there was no way back for us."


    Liverpool: Reina, Finnan, Carragher, Hyypia, Riise, Pennant, Alonso, Gerrard (Aurelio 85), Gonzalez (Luis Garcia 69), Crouch, Kuyt (Fowler 85).
    Subs Not Used: Dudek, Agger.

    Goals: Crouch 61, Gerrard 63, Kuyt 83.

    Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Hunt, Faye, Ben Haim, Gardner, Campo, Nolan (Teymourian 81), Speed (Tal 66), Diouf (Vaz Te 66), Anelka, Davies.
    Subs Not Used: Al Habsi, Meite.

    Booked: Ben Haim, Campo, Faye.

    Att: 41,370.

    Ref: G Poll (Hertfordshire).

    SEE ALSO
    New Year's Day football photos
    01 Jan 07 |  Football


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