Benitez hails resolute Reds

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Football News

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez praised his players' response to his criticism over their early-season lack of responsibility following the 3-2 victory against 10-man Bolton.

Liverpool won with a late goal from captain Steven Gerrard, who Benitez had suggested was playing below his best this term.

"All our players wanted to impress and do well," Benitez said. "Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres, among others, knew they needed to improve. We showed we have quality players and they all fought hard to show their improvement."

Bolton had Sean Davis sent off in the second half for a second bookable offence with his side 2-1 ahead. After that Fernando Torres equalised and Gerrard belted home the winner.

Bolton had twice been ahead through Kevin Davies and Tamir Cohen, with Glen Johnson scoring for Liverpool in between those efforts.

"We had a lot of possession and were in control for much of the game," added Benitez. "To concede two goals like we did is disappointing, but the team hit back and proved their quality."

Bolton boss Gary Megson believed the red card changed the game.

He said: "Being reduced to 10 men at this level always has an impact, and when it happens against a team of Liverpool's quality even more so.

"We were man-marking Steven Gerrard up until that point, and he was under a measure of control.

"But when Davis was sent off we were unable to use (Fabrice) Muamba as a man-marker from then on, you can't do that when you only have 10 men. Steven is clever, he dropped deeper and deeper and orchestrated the game from then on."

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Sean Davis
Bolton Wanderers
Glen Johnson
Premier League
Tamir Cohen
Fernando Torres
Steven Gerrard
Kevin Davies

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