Belfast Telegraph

Late Cole strike earns Liverpool points

Liverpool 2 Bolton 1: Joe Cole's injury-time strike and Fernando Torres' first goal since November 10 snatched a 2-1 victory for Liverpool at home to Bolton but it may not be enough to save manager Roy Hodgson.

Reports earlier in the day suggested owners New England Sports Ventures were actively looking for a replacement for the 63-year-old.

When Kevin Davies headed in Matt Taylor's 43rd-minute free-kick things looked bleak for Hodgson but a revitalised Torres volleyed home before Cole tapped in his first league goal for the club he joined in the summer.

Captain Steven Gerrard was only fit enough for a place on the bench after cramping up having played 90 minutes against Wolves.

But Hodgson was forced to send on Gerrard for Raul Meireles midway through the first half after the Portugal midfielder failed to run off an injury sustained minutes earlier.

Just prior to that Taylor had hacked away Maxi Rodriguez's cross-shot from Torres' looped pass to the far post.

Taylor proved to be even more effective at the other end as, after curling one low free-kick into the side-netting, it was his set-piece which allowed Kevin Davies to head home two minutes before the interval after Fabio Aurelio, making his first league start of the season, had fouled Rodrigo Moreno.

Liverpool could have been ahead by then as Rodriguez headed Dirk Kuyt's deep cross onto the top of the crossbar, while in injury time Lucas Leiva skewed wide.

The second half was only four minutes old when Gerrard's first-time pass from David Ngog's knockdown picked out Torres on the penalty spot and he volleyed home his first goal since November 10.

Liverpool finished the game pressing for victory and they were rewarded with an injury-time winner. Gerrard's cross was touched back and substitute Cole tapped in from a couple of yards.


From Belfast Telegraph