It came as a big surprise that Liverpool came out of Reebok Stadium with a 3-1 loss, and Dalglish was the first to admit that there were errors. “If anybody has any aspirations of staying any length of time at the football club then they’ll not be here for much longer if that’s the way they want to perform. We expect a much higher level than that,” was the quote that came out of Dalglish’s mouth in the post-match presser. Nonetheless, much is to be given to Bolton, who “parted the red sea” a few times to get a much-needed three points. Let’s look at some stats…
The stats appear to show LFC domination in almost every category. 61% possession, 63% shooting accuracy, 78% pass completion and clear domination in both the aerial and ground duel categories. The only real advantage the Bolton had throughout the game was their tackling and succession rate.
Yet BWFC were the victors with a 3-1 win. Why? A defensive collapse and more dominant midfield play from Bolton.
Charlie Adam was a clear mistake of a play, and the fans saw it all game. Adam didn’t make a single tackle the entire game, despite playing midfield for 65 minutes. His passing accuracy percentage was weak (55%) and he won just 5 of 11 ground duels (45%).
Steven Gerrard had a good game for Liverpool defensively, but was not seen very much in the attack. He won 9 of 14 ground duels, and nearly 86% of his tackles were successful, but the attacking midfield for LFC was non-existent. Neither Adam nor Gerrard took a single shot the entire game, something that isn’t seen very often from the Liverpool side.
Bolton’s midfield however, was quite impressive. Mark Davies, one of Bolton’s goal scorers, completed nearly 84% of his passes, won both of his attempted tackles, and won 3 of 5 ground duels. Chris Eagles made himself very aware in the attack as well, with ball movement his key, completing 22 of 32 passes.
Looking at the shot placement, there were signs that Bolton targeted the left side of the goal, with 2 shots on target as well as 2 goals heading towards that side, with one goal to the right side, while Liverpool had 2 shots in the middle with 1 resulting goal, and just one shot to both the left and right side of the goal.
Although the majority of Bolton’s goals were quick plays that were flashes, they held well after taking the lead in the 4th minute. The momentum boost kept Bolton up and they took all 3 points with a 3-1 victory.