Highlights: Bolton 1-2 Liverpool; Late goals put the Reds through to the 5th round of the FA Cup
Liverpool travelled to Bolton unbeaten in the Premier League this season and having the most points in the new year across Europe. Bolton, inspired by goalkeeper Adam Bogdan, had kept the Reds at bay at Anfield and were looking to continue their excellent home form in the fourth round replay.
Steven Gerrard was picked in the starting line-up for his 700th appearance, while returning striker Daniel Sturridge remained on the bench. Adam Bogdan, last match’s hero, was injured for this match and Andy Lonergan took his place in the Bolton goal.
Liverpool started the game well and looked dangerous, but Bolton were looking to hit them on the counter-attack as well as using their players' heights to trouble the visitors at set-pieces. The first real chance fell to David Wheater through a set-piece, but, his tame header went straight to Simon Mignolet.
Neil Danns got booked in the 29th minute for a foul on Joe Allen and Liverpool almost took the lead through Raheem Sterling, who hit the post with a right-footed shot. Philippe Coutinho also tried his luck from distance, but Lonergan was not going to let the visitors take the lead so easily. The rest of the half went the same way as Bolton looked to close the half level with the Premier League side and were successful as the referee blew the whistle with the score 0-0.
The second half started in a similar manner with Liverpool threatening to open the scoring. Brendan Rodgers made the first change of the game, bringing in Jordan Henderson for the off-colour Adam Lallana in the 55th minute. However, Bolton reacted better after the substitution and won a contentious penalty as Zach Clough went down under minimum contact from Martin Skrtel. Eidur Gudjohnsen wasn’t in a forgiving mood, though, as he put the ball in the back of the net from the spot to give Bolton an unlikely lead.
In the 66th minute, Liverpool were handed a lifeline as Danns lunged into Allen once again to be given his second yellow and marching orders. Sturridge entered the match and the visitors pushed forward for the equalizer leaving plenty of space at the back. Despite the red card, Gudjohnsen wasted a golden opportunity to put the home side two goals up when he hit a free header straight into Mignolet’s palms.
Bolton’s goal was leading a charmed life as this time Henderson struck the post from a half-volley from the edge of the box. with 15 minutes to go and the crossbar was rattled next in the 83rd minute by Emre Can. Credit to Lonergan, though, who tipped Can’s goal-bound shot onto the crossbar.
However, in the 86th minute, neither the goalkeeper nor the posts were able to deny Liverpool their equalizer after a lovely clipped pass from Can was put into the back of the net by Sterling. The fourth official signalled 5 minutes of added time and the Reds went all out for the winner to prevent playing 30 minutes extra ahead of the Merseyside derby against Everton on Saturday.
Brazilian Coutinho, who recently signed a contract extension, made sure the match was settled in normal time when his shot from the edge of the box went in off the crossbar to break Bolton hearts in the 92nd minute. The match petered out to a close soon after and Liverpool booked a visit to London for a fifth round tie against Crystal Palace.
Bolton 1-0 Liverpool: Eidur Gudjohnsen (pen) (59’)
After the referee pointed at the penalty spot, Gudjohnsen’s sent Mignolet the wrong way and put Bolton in front at the Macron Stadium.
Bolton 1-1 Liverpool: Raheem Sterling (86’)
Sterling was the beneficiary of Can’s brilliant vision and pass as he clipped the ball over the Bolton defence to set the youngster a clear sight at goal. The Englishman didn’t disappoint with a precise left-footed volley that went in through the goalkeeper’s legs.
Bolton 1-2 Liverpool: Philippe Coutinho (90+2’)
Coutinho took matters into his own hands with a brilliant shot from the edge of the box which looped over Lonergan to go in off the crossbar.