Liverpool 4 Bolton Wanderers 0

Last updated : 02 December 2007 By Footymad Previewer
Liverpool's surge towards the top of the Premier League showed no sign of relenting as the Reds cruised to a 4-0 victory over Bolton at Anfield.

A Sami Hyypia header and a superb goal by Fernando Torres were capped by a second-half Steven Gerrard penalty and a Ryan Babel tap-in at the death as Liverpool leapfrogged Manchester United into third.

Bolton arrived at a rain swept Anfield in high spirits on the back of a stunning win over Sir Alex Ferguson's men last weekend.

But Gary Megson's side were on the back foot straight away as Gerrard, Harry Kewell and Yossi Benayoun started in confident mood.

The Aussie found Benayoun with a defence splitting ball and the Israeli pulled it back for Peter Crouch, but the beanpole striker's close-range effort was saved by Jussi Jaaskelainen.

The Reds continued their early pressure zipping it around the soaked turf as Torres and Crouch both went close.

Liverpool were pouring forward at every opportunity and on 16 minutes they took the lead through Hyypia.

The towering Finn met a superb Gerrard free-kick to bury a low header past Jaaskelainen.

Bolton were second best for most of the half but looked a threat from set pieces and Jose Reina had to be at his best to save a Kevin Davies header.

But after Torres was denied after an explosive run, Nicolas Anelka missed a golden chance to equalise when he inexplicably fired wide with Reina in a heap following a clash with his own player.

And Bolton were made to rue it when Torres doubled Liverpool's lead with an exquisite goal on the stroke of half-time.

The Spaniard latched onto a cutting Gerrard through ball and deftly chipped Jaaskelainen.

The crowd were barely back in their seats after the re-start when Crouch should have added to the lead but the lanky forward headed wide.

Then Gerrard's marauding run and shot was tipped over by the Bolton stopper.

But the skipper made amends on 56 minutes when he fired home from the spot after Crouch was brought down in the area.

Bolton toiled as Anelka went close but they were no match for a rampant Reds side who looked like adding to their lead every time they attacked.

The hugely impressive Torres nearly made it four on 63 minutes after gliding through the Bolton back line before floating a chip onto the top of the net.

With his side cruising, Rafael Benitez could even afford the luxury of taking off Kewell and Torres who left the field to a standing ovation.

El Hadji Diouf almost snatched a consolation header at the end, before substitute Babel finished off the rout with a tap-in at the near post after Jaaskelainen parried a low Dirk Kuyt drive.