We controlled the match more than Bolton. But at times the thought that it was going to be another one of those ‘Spurs games’ kept you worried. One of the games in which we controlled possession but gained nothing. When you see chances after chances not being taken -- Keane’s and Gerrard’s especially – the thought becomes stronger. The almost-goals when the woodworks denied us a few times did not help either. Then you receive SMSes from friends reminding you of the Spurs game. You begin to almost lose the belief totally.
You feel that this is a game we should win but then again you continue to worry. Because it has happened in the recent past. You have seen it before. And deep down you continue to belief Keane is not really going to score. You still belief our strike force in the line-up is not formidable enough to win our games comfortably for us. You belief that we have always struggled to win this season and this game is not different. You belief we are overly-dependent on Gerrard’s form and when he plays badly we will struggle further. You lose the confidence when Torres does not start.
So when the final whistle was blown, you managed only a meek sigh of relief and start to worry about the next game.
UNDERSTATEMENT 2: BEATING BOLTON WAS IMPORTANT
The win put us on top for a short while before Chelsea took over the spot again. Of course losing this game was not going to be a disaster for this year’s campaign but if we were really to challenge for the top until the end of the season, we need to win games like this one. In fact, you don’t really expect Chelsea to lose many games this season. And of course we do not win the league title by beating only the big four.
UNDERSTATEMENT 3: BENITEZ IS SUPERB
When the ref was signalled for Torres to come in, the look on Keane’s face said a thousand words when he saw he was the one being substituted. Many thought Keane was blatantly angry or even arrogant. Disappointed I am very sure but I felt he was just as surprised as many of us. Maybe Benitez had a game plan in the preparations for this game. Something like Torres to come in and play alongside Keane. But I guess Benitez was thinking of the deadly combination of Torres and Gerrard upfront that worked so well towards the end of last season. And it worked as well too when we scored the second goal. This line-up also meant Bolton were a bit more cautious at the back and defended a bit deeper which affected their raids forward. This was truly one of those ‘In Rafa we trust’ moments. Imagine if we had not bought Keane or we do not really need to play him as often as possible to justify his purchase.
UNDERSTATEMENT 4: TORRES IS AWESOME
Who can argue against this fact? He comes in, shows how big a threat he is with his positioning and speedy runs and skills and attempts, and then executes the perfect pass to Gerrard to head in the second goal. Something which he created out of nothing. Yet again we see the understanding between him and Gerrard. That one act alone is worth millions, not to mention how it also helped Gerrard’s to make-up for his earlier poor efforts.
Benitez mentioned the other day it would be fantastic if we had 5 Gerrards and 5 Carras in the team. But I prefer to also have at least 3 Torreses. Simply brilliant! Many fans would not argue against one of the SMS sent by a friend (Selva) after the second goal that read ‘Torres we love you’. If Torres were English, he would have been the new ‘God’ of England football surely.
UNDERSTATEMENT 4: SAMI HYYPIA IS STILL RELEVANT
I remember around ten years ago when Hyypia was signed up by Houllier for 2.5 million, everyone asked who the hell is this guy? Together with Stephane Henchoz, he proved to be a towering pillar in the central defence. Then his partnership with Carra has made him into a legend at LFC. Now at 35 years old, you would think he would be less of a force he used to be. But seeing his blonde head clearing one after another aerial threats in the few games he has been played this season is very comforting indeed. He was disappointed to be left out of the squad list for the CL this season, but I guess Benitez knows better. He is not as fast as he used to be and should have more rest than the other youngsters, but he is certainly a great player to be trusted as a cover for either Agger, Carra or Skrtel.
UNDERSTATEMENT 5: THE AMERICAN OWNERS SHOULD GET LOST SOON
They are at it again and this time it is about the extension for Benitez’s contract and the issue of copyrighting of the Liverbird. We need better owners who are true to their words. Period.