Friday, December 26, 2008

Liverpool 3-0 Bolton

Last time we were top of the league so late into the season, our manager ended up in hospital with a major heart scare and our form fell away. This time, we were deprived of Rafa Benitez by kidney stones, which proved more troublesome than expected but he was back in the director's box today.

I'm not sure who I'd rather miss, him or some of our star players, but it's worth noting there was still no return for Torres (as some had predicted) and we're obviously very short of full-backs: with Arbeloa, Aurelio, Degen and Dossena all out, Carragher and Insua filled in (personally, I agree maybe two inexperienced full-backs would've been too risky, but I'm disappointed that Darby didn't get to at least make a substitute appearance on the right).

In any case, the game proved to be a fairly routine three points once Riera turned our dominance into a first goal (scoring from what was, I think, our eighth corner in the first half). Then Keane followed his goal against Arsenal with another brace - taking him to five now in the Premier League. We'd perhaps hoped for more, but it's worth remembering I think Crouch was still to score for us at this point in his debut season: at least Keane now seems to have found some form, which is making the return of Torres less urgent.

With the score at 3-0, both managers seemed content to settle for what they had - Megson's substitutions looked more like resting players for the next fixture than a serious attempt to get back into the game, while unsurprisingly Gerrard and Kuyt were withdrawn for a bit of a rest (though, as I say, I'm disappointed Darby didn't get a run out - we'll probably need him if Arbeloa's injury is serious: maybe against Preston though).

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