Saturday, September 30, 2006

Bolton 2-0 Liverpool

Another early away game, another defeat.

I only listened to the first half, as my mum came to visit. It sounded like we dominated - without being too threatening admittedly - only to go behind to a controversial free kick. It wasn't just the Liverpool website that said it was wrong, the BBC concurred:

Sam Allardyce's team went ahead with a disputed goal after Jose Reina was wrongfully penalised for handball... Reina was penalised for handling outside of his area, though television replays showed the Spaniard released the ball when he was clearly inside in his box. Reina was made to pay for linesman Andy Halliday's mistake as Speed's low left-footed shot flew into the corner of the net... Speed's strike was Bolton's only direct shot at goal in the first half.

(emphasis added)

At the end of the day though, that's little consolation. I usually take the view these things cancel out over the season, and at the end of the day Bolton took the chance gifted to them while we couldn't take ours.

On paper, the team has been much strengthened this year, but there's something clearly wrong with the away results. Maybe the team still need time to gel, but I thought Crouch should have played with Kuyt against Bolton's notoriously physical approach. Admittedly, Bellamy seemed to cause real problems, but Crouch got a lot of credit for our improved away form last season, so I think he should be brought back in an attempt to recreate such form this year.

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