Monday, March 31, 2008

Gerrard hails crucial derby win

Steven Gerrard believes Liverpool's 1-0 win over Everton could be crucial in the race for fourth place in the Premier League.
Fernando Torres bagged his 28th goal of the season to give Liverpool all three points and put the Reds five points clear of their Merseyside rivals.
"It was a big win and we knew how important this game would be for us," said Gerrard.
"Hopefully we can continue to pick up wins and grab that fourth spot."
He added: "Credit to Everton they came back strongly in the second half - we couldn't quite get that second goal which made it harder."
Reds manager Rafa Benitez is still wary of the threat Everton pose in the race for the final Champions League spot and was frustrated by his team's inability to kill the game off.
"To do the double over Everton is really good for us, but I think that in the first half we had chances to score and finish the game," he said.
"When you are winning just 1-0, a free-kick, a corner or a throw-in can be dangerous, so we were hard-working in defence and played on the counter-attack and I felt we had a lot of chances.
"We need to keep winning, but at least when you have five points more than the other team it makes things a little bit easier."
Benitez also hailed the impact that Torres has made since arriving at Anfield in the summer and believes his new formation of employing Gerrard behind the Spaniard is paying dividends.
"To score 28 goals, 21 in the league, in your first season is not easy for anyone especially for a player coming to a different country" he added.
"I think the understanding between Gerrard and Torres is good so we tried to use these two key players.
"You can also see Babel and Kuyt are working hard and creating problems for the other team's so it's a formation that is good for the team."
Everton manager David Moyes had no complaints with the result, but pinpointed Everton's lack of attacking options after strikers Andrew Johnson, Victor Anichebe and James Vaughan were all ruled out.
Moyes will also have to do without midfielder Tim Cahill for the rest of the season but is not giving up hope of overtaking their Merseyside rivals.
"We lacked penetration when we got into good positions around the penalty area but we handed Liverpool an early advantage," he said.
"Unfortunately we've had a few injuries at the business end of the season. We're not running out of steam - it's more a case of not having enough bodies.
"There are still games to be played so it doesn't change things for us. We're still positive about the rest of the season. Five points is a big gap but we won't be giving up."

Liverpool 1-0 Everton

Liverpool strengthened their grip on fourth place after Fernando Torres' 28th goal of the season gave them victory in the Merseyside derby.
The Spaniard expertly slotted the ball beyond Tim Howard for the only goal of the game after just seven minutes.
With Yakubu deployed as a lone striker Everton created very little, while Liverpool spurned several chances.
A rasping Steven Gerrard volley hit the post, while Everton's best chance fell to Leon Osman who headed wide.
The result puts Liverpool five points clear of their local rivals in fourth place with just six games of the season remaining.
Rafa Benitez made three changes from the team that lost to Manchester United last weekend and Everton, without Andrew Johnson and Tim Cahill, looked devoid of ideas in the opening half.
Liverpool broke the deadlock when Gerrard's corner was only half cleared.
After Xabi Alonso nicked the ball from Yakubu, Dirk Kuyt flicked on to Torres, who slotted a shot beyond Howard when under pressure.
It could have got a lot worse for Everton as first Kuyt and then his fellow countryman Ryan Babel failed to connect with dangerous balls into the area.
Gerrard almost doubled his side's advantage five minutes before half time.
A long punt upfield by Pepe Reina was flicked on by Torres and Gerrard's first-time volley came crashing back off the post with Howard well beaten.
Liverpool attacked at every opportunity and looked dangerous going forward, while in contrast Yakubu was all too often isolated on his own.
The home side ended the half on a high as a sweeping move involving Gerrard, Jamie Carragher and Torres ended with Kuyt volleying wide.
Everton regrouped after the interval and they nearly made Liverpool pay for their missed chances when Osman headed wide from Mikel Arteta's free-kick.
Both defences were on top after that with Sami Hyypia expertly challenging Yakubu when in a dangerous position, while at the other end Joseph Yobo denied Torres a clear run on goal.
Everton manager David Moyes moved Phil Jagielka up front to partner Yakubu in the final five minutes.
And in a late Everton rally Reina escaped as he flapped at a cross, but the ball would not fall kindly for Tony Hibbert.
At the other end Liverpool had two chances to put the game beyond doubt as Dirk Kuyt shot was blocked by Manuel Fernandes, while Gerrard forced Howard to make a great save as he shot from distance.
Liverpool: Reina, Carragher, Hyypia, Skrtel, Riise, Lucas, Gerrard (Crouch 90), Alonso, Babel (Benayoun 82), Torres (Pennant 89), Kuyt. Subs Not Used: Itandje, Finnan.
Booked: Torres.
Goals: Torres 7.
Everton: Howard, Hibbert, Yobo, Jagielka, Lescott, Arteta, Neville (Baines 72), Carsley, Pienaar (Fernandes 61), Osman, Yakubu. Subs Not Used: Wessels, Gravesen, Nuno Valente.
Booked: Carsley, Neville, Pienaar, Jagielka.
Att: 44,295
Ref: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire).

Man Utd 3-0 Liverpool

Manchester United outclassed 10-man Liverpool to strengthen their position at the top of the Premier League table.
Wes Brown put United ahead from Wayne Rooney's cross before Liverpool's hopes were hit when Javier Mascherano was sent off for dissent before the break.
Pepe Reina made some great saves but he was at fault when Cristiano Ronaldo headed home United's second and Nani's fine finish completed an emphatic win.
Chelsea's victory over Arsenal leaves United five points clear at the top.
Sunday's results leave United in pole position to retain their title with seven games of the season to go but the main talking point after this match was Mascherano's dismissal.
The Argentine midfielder, who had been booked early on for a wild challenge on Paul Scholes, foolishly chose to continue an argument that his team-mate Fernando Torres had started with referee Steve Bennett over a series of challenges by United players.
In a week dominated by discussion of Ashley Cole's conduct towards the officials during Chelsea's draw with Tottenham on Wednesday, the spotlight was always going to be on how Bennett reacted here.
Torres had already been booked for dissent when Mascherano got involved so, if Bennett was to be consistent, he had no choice but to produce another yellow card.
The decision further infuriated Mascherano, who had to be escorted off the pitch, and his manager Rafa Benitez was also left angry.
It also virtually ended his side's hopes of getting anything from the game, as United had dominated even when Liverpool had 11 men on the pitch.
Sir Alex Ferguson's men had created all the best chances in the opening period and only some superb saves by Reina kept the home side at bay.
United could have had a penalty when Jamie Carragher clipped Rooney in the area but the striker stayed on his feet and his eventual shot was saved by the Spaniard.
Reina came to the rescue again when Paul Scholes' free-kick caught the Liverpool defence napping, collecting the ball after Rooney failed to control it.
The Reds' best spell followed when they at last threatened Edwin van der Sar's goal.
Fabiano Aurelio sliced his shot wide when well placed inside the area, while Steven Gerrard had a rasping effort deflected over soon after.
But United were still threatening themselves and Ronaldo hit the post from a Ryan Giggs free-kick, only to be wrongly ruled offside, before Reina almost fumbled Giggs' cross into his own net.
The Liverpool defence was struggling with any high balls played into the area and it was no great surprise when United took the lead through that route.
Martin Skrtel did not attempt to reach Rooney's cross and Brown beat Reina to the ball, which looped into the net off his back.
Mascherano's red card meant Liverpool had it all to do after the break and, if not for their goalkeeper, they would have been dead and buried.
Scholes' clever lob sent Ronaldo clear but Reina came out to block and, after watching Ronaldo's free-kick fly narrowly wide, he saved his side again with an instinctive stop from Rooney.
Reina made another instinctive save to deny United substitute Carlos Tevez after Alvaro Arbeloa had inadvertently steered the ball into the striker's path.
He also did brilliantly to push away Ronaldo's shot but will not enjoy watching a replay of the resultant corner, from which the Portuguese star rose above him to head home.
Nani's thumping finish from the edge of the area only underlined United's superiority as Liverpool's seven-game winning run came to an abrupt halt.
Man Utd: Van der Sar, Brown, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Ronaldo, Scholes, Carrick, Anderson (Tevez 73), Giggs (Nani 73), Rooney. Subs Not Used: Kuszczak, Hargreaves, O'Shea.
Booked: Ferdinand.
Goals: Brown 34, Ronaldo 79, Nani 81.
Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Carragher, Skrtel, Aurelio, Mascherano, Alonso, Kuyt, Gerrard, Babel (Benayoun 66), Torres (Riise 82). Subs Not Used: Itandje, Hyypia, Crouch.
Sent Off: Mascherano (44).
Booked: Mascherano, Torres, Arbeloa.
Att: 76,000
Ref: Steve Bennett (Kent).

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Liverpool 2-1 Reading

Liverpool notched a fifth successive Premier League victory after coming from behind to beat Reading at Anfield.
Marek Matejovsky rounded off a free-kick move from 20 yards out to give Reading an early lead.
Liverpool equalised in equally spectacular fashion when Javier Mascherano rifled his first goal for the club from 23 yards.
Fernando Torres completed the turnaround by planting home an unmarked header from eight yards.
Liverpool, seeking a fifth successive Premier League win, were sloppy right from the kick-off when Fabio Aurelio was caught in possession by Kevin Doyle, whose cross was cut out by Martin Skrtel.
The home side were certainly caught napping on five minutes when Reading took the lead through a stunning goal from Matejovsky.
Stephen Hunt was fouled by Alvaro Arbeloa near the left-hand corner flag, and a training-ground routine saw the ball pulled back to the edge of the box where Czech international Matejovsky blasted home a first-time shot for his first goal since joining the Royals.
Liverpool regained their composure after that early shock and Steven Gerrard's slide-rule pass inside Andre Bikey found Torres, who was thwarted by the alert Marcus Hahnemann who dashed from his line and spread himself to save.
More sloppy Liverpool defending might have allowed Reading to double their lead, but Shane Long's pass to the unmarked John Oster was just too heavy.
Liverpool then swept down the field almost immediately to level through another stunning goal from Mascherano.
The Argentine stepped inside Hunt and shifted the ball on to his right foot to unleash an unstoppable shot for his first goal for Liverpool.
Mascherano was growing in influence and his inch-perfect cross-field pass picked out Ryan Babel, who cut inside to fire in a powerful shot which was beaten away by Hahnemann.
Liverpool finished the half strongly and Oster's error gifted the ball to Xabi Alonso who dipped a volley inches over the bar from 25 yards.
It took Liverpool just three minutes of the second half to turn the game on its head and take the lead, with Torres scoring his ninth goal in six games.
The Spanish striker was fouled 30 yards from goal by Liam Rosenior and, as Gerrard curled in the free-kick, Torres lost his marker to plant an unopposed header past Hahnemann from eight yards.
In the process he became the first Liverpool player to score 20 goals in a season since Robbie Fowler in 1996.
Reading's afternoon took an even more sour note when Long's reaction on being substituted was to rip off his shirt and throw it in the direction of boss Steve Coppell.
Liverpool were firmly in control and were searching for the comfort of a third goal.
It might have arrived had Babel's first touch been better when found by Gerrard, while Hahnemann parried a powerful drive from Aurelio and enjoyed a stroke of luck as Dirk Kuyt headed the loose ball wide of a gaping goal.
There was still some defending to do to but Reading's appeals for a penalty were half-hearted at best as Jamie Carragher strongly stood his ground when Doyle threatened.
In a frantic finale, Dave Kitson saw his header saved by Jose Reina as Reading keeper Hahnemann added his weight at a corner.
And as the ball was cleared to Alonso, his effort on an unguarded goal from deep inside the Liverpool half sailed just wide.

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez: "We know that Mascherano has a good shot on him and we've been encouraging him to shoot more when he sees the target.
"Fernando Torres scored another crucial goal, but he's scoring lots of goals thanks to his team-mates.
"As for their penalty claim, Steve told me the ball hit him with his arm against his chest, it was not stuck out to deflect the ball."

Reading boss Steve Coppell moans at the referee and striker Shane Long: "That penalty was stitched on, the ball was heading for goal and it struck Steven Gerrard's arm.
"Shane was frusrated with the officials but I've told him I never want to see anything like that again, and I won't."
Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Carragher, Skrtel, Aurelio, Alonso, Mascherano, Kuyt (Benayoun 80), Gerrard (Hyypia 90), Babel (Riise 83), Torres.Subs Not Used: Itandje, Crouch.
Goals: Mascherano 19, Torres 48.

Reading: Hahnemann, Rosenior, Bikey, Ingimarsson, Shorey, Oster (Kebe 72), Harper, Matejovsky (Cisse 74), Hunt, Doyle, Long (Kitson 63).Subs Not Used: Federici, Sonko.
Booked: Long, Ingimarsson, Matejovsky, Bikey, Cisse.
Goals: Matejovsky 5.
Att: 43,524
Referee: Andre Marriner (W Midlands).

Inter Milan 0-1 Liverpool (0-3)

Liverpool became the fourth English side to reach the Champions League quarter-finals with victory against Inter Milan at the San Siro.
Fernando Torres scored brilliantly on the turn after 64 minutes to give Liverpool a comfortable aggregate win.
Inter, who had Nicolas Burdisso sent off for a foul on Lucas Leiva after 50 minutes, wasted several chances.
Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina twice saved from Julio Cruz, who also shot wide when clean through in the first half.
The win gives English clubs a powerful presence in the closing stages of the competition.
With Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal already in the last eight, it is the first time any country has dominated the Champions League in such a fashion.
And, despite a shaky start to their campaign in the group phase, Liverpool remain on course for a third final in four seasons.
Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez paired Martin Skrtel with Sami Hyypia in central defence - pushing Jamie Carragher out to right-back - and they were tested in a closely-fought first half.
Reina was outstanding as Liverpool defended their two-goal advantage from the first leg, and he was in action after eight minutes as he dived low to his right to save from Cruz.
Liverpool threatened to open up the Inter rearguard for a crucial away goal after 24 minutes when Fabio Aurelio's long ball almost released Ryan Babel, but keeper Julio Cesar was swiftly off his line.
The visitors were by no means sitting on their lead, and a slip by Esteban Cambiasso let in Torres and Cesar needed to be alert at his near post to block the Spanish striker.
Inter's best chance came after 29 minutes when Zlatan Ibrahimovic played in Cruz, but he pulled his finish across the face of goal.
Reina did well again on the stroke of half-time when Cruz met Maicon's cross with a neat flick, but Liverpool's keeper was again quick to react and keep his side level.
Inter's hopes of mounting a fightback were dealt a cruel blow after 49 minutes when Burdisso - who had already been booked - collided with Lucas.
The challenge looked innocuous and Inter were understandably enraged when Norwegian referee Tom Henning Ovrebo produced a red card that was harsh in the extreme.
It was a stroke of luck for Liverpool and ill-fortune for Inter, who saw Marco Materazzi sent off in debatable fashion in the first leg at Anfield.
Ibrahimovic once again flattered to deceive and was guilty of an awful miss after 56 minutes when he was gifted the ball by a dreadful pass from Skrtel and was wastefully off target.
And Torres made Inter pay for all those missed opportunities as he fired the goal that effectively sent Liverpool into the last eight after 64 minutes.
Aurelio's pass found Torres in the area and he turned before sending a low, unerring right-foot finish low to the right of Inter keeper Cesar.
Liverpool were now cruising, although there was another opportunity for Ibrahimovic to incur the wrath of the home crowd with another bad miss after 78 minutes, shooting horribly off target again when clean through.
Inter Milan: Julio Cesar, Maicon, Burdisso, Rivas, Chivu, Zanetti, Cambiasso, Stankovic (Jimenez 84), Vieira (Pele 76), Ibrahimovic (Suazo 80), Cruz.Subs Not Used: Toldo, Figo, Crespo, Maniche.
Sent Off: Burdisso (50).
Booked: Burdisso, Rivas, Stankovic, Chivu.
Liverpool: Reina, Carragher, Skrtel, Hyypia, Aurelio, Babel (Benayoun 61), Mascherano (Pennant 87), Gerrard, Lucas, Kuyt (Riise 81), Torres.Subs Not Used: Itandje, Voronin, Crouch, Arbeloa.
Booked: Babel, Gerrard, Aurelio, Benayoun.
Goals: Torres 64.
Att: 80,000
Ref: Tom Ovrebo (Norway).

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Liverpool 3-0 Newcastle

Liverpool eased past Newcastle at Anfield to boost their chances of finishing fourth and leave the visitors fighting for Premier League survival.
The Reds went ahead with a bizarre goal, Jose Enrique's clearance hitting Jermaine Pennant and looping in.
Fernando Torres struck his 25th goal of the season by slotting home from a Gerrard pass, before he sent Gerrard through for the captain to wrap it up.
Newcastle's best effort saw Obafemi Martins hit the bar from 40 yards.
The defeat means Magpies boss Kevin Keegan is still waiting for his first win on his return as manager - after eight failed attempts.
Liverpool, like so many of Newcastle's recent opponents, ended up winning at a canter - but for 43 minutes it appeared as though Keegan's team may have turned the corner.
Their two banks of four gave Liverpool little space to attack in and the home team - and their fans - were becoming frustrated as they struggled to create clear-cut chances.
Torres did force an early save from Steve Harper, but the angle was such that it would have taken a mistake from the keeper to concede.
After 20 minutes the home side produced a fabulous move, John Arne Riise picking out Pennant with a raking 70-yard pass and his cross finding Yossi Benayoun, who saw his first-time shot blocked eight yards out.
But just as Keegan would have been preparing his half-time team-talk, Newcastle went behind - in farcical circumstances.
Enrique got back well to cover Pennant's run into the box, but his attempted clearance cannoned off the winger's shin and looped agonisingly over Harper and into the net.
Two minutes later and it was game over as Gerrard tore at the Newcastle defence and sent Torres clean through, the Spaniard gliding effortlessly past Harper and slotting into an empty net.
Having been in the game for so long, Newcastle's task in the second half was to keep the score down - but within six minutes, they were 3-0 down.
The Magpies simply could not contain Gerrard and Torres, who played in his captain to impudently lift the ball over the advancing Harper for a third.
The pair were running riot and moments later Gerrard was denied a second by a stunning save from Harper from just inside the box.
With their Champions League last-16 second leg tie away at Inter Milan on Tuesday in mind, Rafael Benitez had the luxury of taking off both Gerrard and Torres.
Newcastle brought on Martins to try and get on the scoresheet - and he nearly produced one of the great Premier League goals.
Controlling a throw-in on his chest, the Nigerian turned smartly into space and slammed in an audacious volley from fully 40 yards that crashed against the crossbar.
But it was a single moment of genius that punctured yet another Newcastle defeat, keeping them only three points above the drop zone.
· Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez:"It was more or less the perfect day - we got the points and we could take players off ahead of the Champions League in Italy on Tuesday.
"The first goal was a bit lucky but the second was a fantastic piece of play and that one was the big difference.
"The understanding between Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard is good and they can kill off any team those two."
· Newcastle boss Kevin Keegan:"The opening goal was a freak one and that's the sort of luck we need going for us at the moment.
"But the second goal killed us, it was bad to concede straight away and 2-0 down here at half-time, it's difficult.
"Prior to that I was relatively pleased but we were blown to bits in the space of three crazy minutes. Were we unlucky to lose? No. They were better than us."
Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Carragher, Skrtel, Riise, Alonso, Lucas, Pennant (Hyypia 78), Gerrard (Kuyt 66), Benayoun, Torres (Crouch 72).Subs Not Used: Itandje, Babel.
Booked: Riise.
Goals: Pennant 43, Torres 45, Gerrard 51.
Newcastle: Harper, Beye, Faye, Taylor, Jose Enrique, Milner (Geremi 44), Butt, N'Zogbia, Duff (Martins 58), Owen, Smith.Subs Not Used: Forster, Cacapa, Carroll.
Att: 44,031.
Ref: Peter Walton (Northamptonshire).

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Liverpool 4-0 West Ham

Fernando Torres scored a hat-trick as Liverpool won their game in hand to move above Everton and into fourth place in the Premier League.
Torres superbly finished Dirk Kuyt's low cross from 12 yards and struck after the break with a header following another cross from the Dutchman.
The Spain striker hit the post with a diving header before netting his third with a low finish from a tight angle.
Steven Gerrard scored the fourth with a spectacular long-range effort.
It was a crucial win for the home team in the context of the scramble for fourth spot - and with it a place in next season's Champions League.
Until they scored the decisive second goal it was a far from scintillating performance by Liverpool, who at times lacked urgency and were wasteful from set pieces.
But West Ham, defeated 4-0 by Chelsea on Saturday, rarely looked as though they would force their way back into the contest after Torres struck early on.
By the time Alan Curbishley introduced Dean Ashton and Bobby Zamora after 69 minutes the game had gone - and it was the home team who added to their tally with two late goals.
Liverpool started with a real sense of purpose and should have scored even before Torres' eighth-minute opener.
John Arne Riise, recalled to the team, crossed from the left and Kuyt headed the ball back across goal to Torres, who missed the target from six yards.
The Spaniard soon made amends with his 16th goal in the Premier League.
Torres got across Anton Ferdinand and showed superb technique to drill home Kuyt's low cross from the right.
The goal marked the end of Liverpool's early dominance, with West Ham gradually feeling their way into the contest.
Pepe Reina charged from his goal after the ball was slipped through to Luis Boa Morte and the West Ham striker eased past the Liverpool keeper before shooting from a tight angle.
The ball seemed to be heading goalwards before a superb sliding effort from Alvaro Arbeloa diverted it out for a corner.
The game went through a dour, chanceless phase, before Liverpool pushed for a second goal in the period before half-time.
Martin Skrtel narrowly missed with a header at the near post while Gerrard toe-poked a cross from Ryan Babel towards the bottom corner of the West Ham goal that produced an excellent low save from Robert Green.
Liverpool forced the first good effort of the second half, with a superb disguised pass from Gerrard creating an opening for Babel, who forced a decent save from Green.
But it was mediocre fare, with errant passes and niggling fouls upsetting the flow of the game.
Torres brought the contest back to life with his precise header into the top corner, but in truth the West Ham marking was dreadful and the striker was under no pressure as he extended his team's lead.
And having established a two-goal cushion, Liverpool took complete control.
Torres met a superb cross from Gerrard with a diving header that rebounded off the woodwork.
But he completed his third hat-trick for Liverpool after easily skipping past Lucas Neill and passing the ball into the net.
Gerrard finished the scoring with his spectacular strike after the Hammers defence backed off and allowed him to run at goal.
· Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez: "At the end I was really pleased with the performance of the team.
"Torres is on fire and that is good for him and fantastic for the team.
"We now have a really important game game against Newcastle and we have to make sure we get three points."
· West Ham boss Alan Curbishley (whose team lost 4-1 to Chelsea on Saturday): "We made no impression on Liverpool at all.
"It's the second time in four days we've played a top side and we knew it would be a tough game but we did not expect this. We have let ourselves down."
Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Skrtel, Carragher, Riise, Gerrard, Mascherano, Alonso, Babel (Pennant 76), Kuyt (Benayoun 63), Torres (Crouch 82). Subs Not Used: Itandje, Hyypia.
Goals: Torres 8, 61, 81, Gerrard 83.

West Ham: Green, Neill, Ferdinand, Upson (Spector 63), McCartney, Solano (Ashton 69), Noble, Mullins, Ljungberg, Boa Morte, Cole (Zamora 69). Subs Not Used: Wright, Pantsil.
Booked: Cole, Neill, Noble.
Att: 42,954
Ref: Steve Bennett (Kent).

Bolton 1-3 Liverpool

Liverpool enhanced their credentials for securing fourth place in the Premier League with a win over relegation-battling Bolton.
The Reds took the lead when Bolton keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen dived to save a Steven Gerrard shot but bizarrely diverted the ball into his own net.
Ryan Babel drove in a shot after Dirk Kuyt hit the bar and Fabio Aurelio volleyed in to extend Liverpool's lead.
Tamir Cohen headed in for Bolton but it was too late to have an impact.
The win ultimately proved comfortable for Liverpool, but Bolton had shown more urgency at the start and will have felt aggrieved at going behind after Liverpool survived two early scares.
Diouf angled in a long range free-kick for Bolton, which was missed by everyone and looked goalbound only to bounce to safety off the crossbar.
An unsettled Liverpool escaped again when Joey O'Brien headed across goal but Diouf could not react quick enough to score from two yards as the ball struck his arm and the Reds again cleared.
Bolton were undone and left stunned by Jaaskelainen's error, and the visitors nearly profited when Babel cut in from the right and saw a sweetly-struck shot saved.
Bolton gathered themselves, and Davies should have done better than to head too close to Reina from a pin-point Kevin Nolan cross.
Liverpool had struggled to deal with Bolton's threat at set-pieces and Gary Cahill could only shoulder an effort wide as he mistimed a near-post header from Matt Taylor's free-kick.
The need for relegation-threatened Bolton to push forward left them open to the counter-attack and the space they left at the back was almost exploited by the pace of Babel on the left flank.
He burst clear and would have scored without the sliding Cahill not getting a big toe to Babel's strike to divert it over.
Bolton's cause was not helped by Nolan having to go off injured at half-time and the Reds took a firm stranglehold of the game after the break.
The lively and exciting talent of Babel finally got the goal he deserved when he powered in a shot after the ball was cleared to him after Kuyt's first-time effort had come off the post.
The strike left Bolton dejected and disheartened and Aurelio controlled a ball on his chest before volleying in from the edge of the area to add some gloss to his side's win.
Cohen nodded home late on but the visitors won at Bolton in the Premier League for the first time since September 2002.
· Bolton boss Gary Megson:"We did well initially. The goal took the wind out of our sails a little bit.
"We had to change and got caught trying to go forward.
"If we feel sorry for ourselves then we will sink but if we roll our sleeves up we will get out of this trouble."
· Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez:"It was a good game and great performance of the team. We worked hard, played well and created chances so I am pleased.
"We had some problems at free-kicks but after this we controlled the game.
"We were trying to pass the ball and go forward and we had two or three clear chances. The idea was to have a good game and get the three points."
Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson (Rasiak 42), Andrew O'Brien, Cahill, Gardner, Joey O'Brien, Campo, Nolan (Cohen 46), Diouf, Davies, Taylor.Subs Not Used: Al Habsi, Meite, Giannakopoulos.
Booked: Rasiak, Davies.
Goals: Cohen 79.
Liverpool: Reina, Carragher, Hyypia, Skrtel, Aurelio, Gerrard, Alonso, Mascherano, Babel, Kuyt (Arbeloa 86), Torres (Riise 77).Subs Not Used: Martin, Benayoun, Crouch.
Booked: Hyypia.
Goals: Jaaskelainen 12 og, Babel 60, Aurelio 75.
Att: 24,004
Ref: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire)