Writer: Richard McCormick
Date:Thursday December 11 2008
Cheating, diving and whining are all part of the game if you`re a Liverpool player, as evidenced by Steven Gerrard. Judging by the performance of that team`s reserves at the Reebok last night, kicking lumps out of the opposition and trying to intimidate the referee have been added to that repertoire.
Bolton ran out deserved 2-1 winners, thanks to Ebi Smolarek, who had a poor game, but took his chances well to register both goals. Zany comedy act of the evening was Liverpool`s Jordy Brouwer who took to the field as a substitute wearing knee length shorts and with socks pulled up to his windpipe.
Young Brouwer lasted two minutes, before being booked for looking ridiculous, but not before he`d attempted to con the referee with an acrobatic dive that scored well for artistic impression, but was lacking in technical merit. His team mates spent the rest of the evening attempting to outdo his theatrics in the penalty area. If they don`t make it as footballers, as seems likely, then a career in the circus awaits.
After a largely tepid first half, with Liverpool leading thanks to an effort by Krisztian Nemeth, things got more interesting in the second. Chris Basham won the ball fairly off Emmanuel Mendy but the Bolton defender was then stamped on by Daniel Ayala, who appeared to view the ball as incidental to proceedings and was quite rightly sent off. A melee then followed with Liverpool players surrounding the referee in a Manchester United led by a rabid Roy Keane stylee.
The Whites equalised shortly after with Smolarek finishing superbly from Riga Mustapha`s cross and minutes later, they were in front, with the Polish striker once more finding the net, after good work by Temitope Obadeyi on the left. The visitors could have been on level terms ten minutes before the end, but the boy Brouwer chose to go to ground when one on one with 'keeper Ali Al Habsi. The Omani stopper was called into action again in injury time to deny Geardo Bruna, with a fine save.
This win takes Bolton toward mid-table in the reserve league and leaves Liverpool near the bottom. But it is the behaviour of their players which should concern the Merseysiders more. They were a disgrace.
Date:Thursday December 11 2008
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