Premier League - Liverpool turn on the style at Anfield

Sat, 27 Aug 19:23:00 2011

Summer signings Jordan Henderson and Charlie Adam both opened their accounts for Liverpool as Kenny Dalglish's side enjoyed a comprehensive 3-1 win over Bolton Wanderers at Anfield.

Liverpool v Bolton

Liverpool were irrepressible from the off, and Henderson, a £20 million acquisition from Sunderland, opened the scoring after 15 minutes with a well-taken curling effort.

Adam delivered the perfect corner for Martin Skrtel to double Liverpool's lead after 52 minutes and within 60 seconds the Scotland international had claimed a goal of his own when finishing nicely from the edge of the box.

Luis Suarez, who throughout was a constant menace to Owen Coyle's side, should have had a penalty in the second half, and although Martin Petrov struck in injury time following a mistake from Jamie Carragher, Anfield was still treated to a real show from a team that move joint top of the table after three games.

Having been held to a somewhat disappointing draw by Sunderland in their opening home match of the season, Liverpool looked keen to impress the natives on Merseyside and enjoyed a first half full of purpose and penetration.

After eight minutes, Stewart Downing burst free and into the box, only to be denied by an excellent saving challenge from Paul Robinson. However, on 15 minutes the winger was involved once more as Liverpool did open the scoring.

Suarez, a bundle of energy and quality throughout, picked out Downing in the box with a quite brilliant pass off the outside of his boot, and his team-mate's first time effort forced Jussi Jaaskelainen into a fine save. However, the ball rolled free and after Robinson slipped to allow Dirk Kuyt to take possession, he found Henderson, who scored with a lovely curling effort.

Bolton responded quickly and a deep cross from Chris Eagles was met by a stinging volley from Martin Petrov at the far post as Jose Reina was called into making a smart save to deny the Bulgarian winger. Later, Mark Davies embarked on a dangerous run before firing a weak effort at goal. However, it was Liverpool who carried the persistent threat.

Henderson turned supplier on 23 minutes as he dropped a perfect cross in for Kuyt, but the Dutchman narrowly failed to convert on the stretch. Henderson, impressing following his £20 million arrival from Sunderland over the summer, then set Suarez free through the middle before the Uruguay international lifted the ball over Jaaskelainen and onto the roof of the net.

Adam, playing in a deep role, set Downing away on the left with a lovely 40-yard pass with two minutes remaining in the half and when the winger jinked inside Gretar Steinsson the defender stuck out an arm to earn a booking for handball. Liverpool wanted a penalty, but replays showed contact was made on the edge of the box.

An excellent first-half performance from Liverpool was tempered somewhat by a hamstring injury suffered by Martin Kelly that forced his withdrawal, and while Lucas also required treatment after the half-time whistle blew, the Brazilian emerged for the second half.

Liverpool continued where they had left off by taking the game to Bolton once again, and two goals in the space of 60 seconds ended the game as a contest.

On 52 minutes, Skrtel lost Zat Knight from a corner and produced a thumping header from Adam's inch-perfect corner. Adam then turned poacher as he received a square pass from Kuyt and drilled a right-footed effort through the legs of Knight and out of the reach of Jaaskelainen.

Bolton were at Liverpool's mercy and Suarez could have scored a deserved goal on 56 minutes when he latched onto a clever ball from Kuyt, rounded Jaaskelainen and hammered his shot into the side netting. The Uruguayan was also denied a clear penalty when fouled from behind by Robinson after 76 minutes.

Liverpool were coasting towards victory and an impressive performance was only spoilt marginally in injury time when Carragher allowed Petrov to get the wrong side of him, and then saw his tackle send the ball into the path of Ivan Klasnic, who tapped in for his third goal in three games.

Tom Adams - follow me on Twitter @tomEurosport / Eurosport

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