Date: 1st October 2006 at 12:19am
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Liverpool, as predicted, went home empty-handed from the Reebok Stadium thanks to goals from Gary Speed and Ivan Campo.

Quite simply, this Liverpool team doesn’t have the class to win a game that they dominated for huge swathes. If Chelsea, Manchester United or Arsenal had come to the Reebok and had 59% of the play, they would have gone home with all three points. Not a single player in a red shirt had the class of guile to open up the determined Wanderers backline. Of course, people might point to Alonso’s shot that hit the outside of the post or a couple of excellent Jaaskelainen saves but for all their huffing and puffing, Liverpool simply didn’t create enough chances.

Rafa Bentitez had words for the referee before the game. He should have had words with the assistant referee instead. For some inexplicable reason, on 30 minutes, Reina was flagged for having taken the ball out of the box. It was a dreadful decision matched only by the goalkeeper’s ineffectual dive as Campo laid the ball off for Speed to score on his 750th game.

Until that point, Liverpool had dominated the game. Kuyt had a header saved and Alonso hit the post. For the rest of the first half, Liverpool tried to find the equaliser but either the shot was blocked, the shot went wide of the goal or the Big Finn got in the way.

To be fair, Jaaskelainen was only really tested by a great volley from Gerrard.

On 50 minutes, Bolton doubled their league. Davies sent in a nice cross into the box and Campo rose above a static Liverpool defence to score. This took the heart out of the Liverpool side. Their game fell apart and the task of keeping them out became a lot easier. A few half chances followed but nothing for the Bolton defence to really worry about.

Benitiez, in his third season, still seems surprised by the Premiership. This isn’t La Liga, son. This is a man’s game and no one plays that brand of football better than Bolton. My prediction is this: Liverpool will NEVER win the Premiership with Benitez at the helm. It simply won’t happen.

For such a famous club with such a great history and which used to behave in such an impeccable manner, under Benitez they are lacking class, both on and off the pitch.

 

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