Bolton 1 Liverpool 2: Three talking points as Coutinho strikes late
Three talking points as Liverpool leave it late to book their place in the fifth round of the FA Cup
Ice-cool Gudjohnsen nets dubious penalty for home side
Whilst Liverpool certainly had the better of the first half, you got the sense that Bolton were posing a threat to Brendan Rodgers’ men. Neil Lennon’s side possessed plenty of pace to trouble Liverpool’s ageing midfield and so it proved as Zach Clough was seemingly brought down by Martin Skrtel – though a second showing suggests it was perhaps a bit harsh on the Slovak. It was up to former Chelsea and Barcelona striker, Eidur Gudjohnsen – in his second spell with Wanderers – to put the visitors up on the night. The former Iceland international showed trademark composure to slot home coolly from 12 yards. It looked for the most part that Bolton were going to be rewarded with a trip to Selhurst Park for a fifth round tie with Crystal Palace, but a red card to Neil Danns provided the momentum shift for a moment of cool-headed brilliance from Raheem Sterling to beat Andy Lonergan from close range.
Coutinho magic downs resilient Trotters
There was no doubting this was a tricky tie for Brendan Rodgers’ side and for the majority of the match is proved so – especially after going a goal down. Try as they might Liverpool couldn’t get a goal, even hitting the woodwork on three separate occasions, before Raheem Sterling equalised for the visitors. With just minutes remaining Brazilian number 10 Phillipe Coutinho inspired a victory for the reds with a sublime curled effort which grazed the underside of Andy Lonergan’s crossbar. Heartbreak for Neil Lennon’s side as Liverpool escape to live another day in the FA Cup.
Cup dream still alive for misfiring Reds
Having been knocked out of the League Cup just a few days ago, Rodgers’ hopes of silverware this season really did rest on the FA Cup, and with Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham among the high profiles absentees from the fifth round, Liverpool would have been keen to get the job done and move on to a tie with Crystal Palace. It wasn’t as easy as it could or perhaps should have been, but they are still in and that will be most pleasing. After a disappointing return to European football and a struggle in the league, the FA Cup presents a brilliant opportunity for Liverpool to bring some much sought after silverware to Anfield.