Late Coutinho Stunner Sends Reds Through
A late burst of magic dust from our trickster Philippe Coutinho was enough to see Liverpool progress to the 5th round of the FA Cup on Wednesday night. The Reds eventually managed to beat Bolton after the home side netted a penalty in the 58th minute. A dismissal followed soon after for Bolton and Sterling found an equaliser pushing the Reds on to find their last gasp winner.
The first half was pretty poor for Liverpool with the same predictable outcome being put on display. Get the ball to Coutinho or Sterling and hope they can weave through and bag a goal. Problem was though that Bolton were not prepared to let us through and were more than content in creating attacks of their own.
By the end of the first half though, there was no real excitement and both goalkeepers had remained relatively quiet. The only moment of note really was a yellow card picked up by Danns that would prove to be vital in the second half for Liverpool.
At 53 minutes Liverpool replaced Adam Lallana with Jordan Henderson. Whilst the Reds continued their predictable attack Bolton began to gain more of a foothold through their skillful youngster Zach Clough. Bolton found their chance to take the lead at 58 minutes.
The penalty awarded to the Trotters was perhaps a bit of a soft one but Martin Skrtel did mistime his challenge as Clough was far too quick. With Eidur Gudjohnsen stepping up for the penalty there was no way the veteran was going to miss and he converted with ease.
The home side now had a renewed sense of optimism, at 0-0 they were still very much in the game and looked more like winners than we did but at 1-0 up they could easily hold on to this victory. Just after the hour mark though after a very poor and silly challenge Danns got himself sent off after a second yellow, much to the dismay of manager Neil Lennon.
With a ten man Bolton side now the opposition you would have thought Liverpool would quickly gain the upper hand but the minutes passed and Liverpool failed to make their attacking nous count. The introduction of Daniel Sturridge gave us some hope but still we just couldn't find the back of the net.
Then at 85 minutes just as it looked as though Liverpool were about to crash out, a lovely assist from Emre Can was bettered by a brilliant finish from Raheem Sterling. His effort flew through the legs of the keeper Lonergan and kept the Reds in the competition.
With five minutes left of the game it felt like we were destined to go to extra time but Liverpool kept the pressure on and eventually, in the first minute of time added on Philippe Coutinho popped up with an absolute beauty.
Assisted by Jordan Henderson the Brazilian saw an opportunity and with a sublime strike that flew high and then dipped low into goal he sealed Liverpool the win.
I asked you for your thoughts on the game and here are a few of the tweets I received:
@LFCKirstyLFC Everything about Emre Can is improving every week, even his already glorious haircut.
— Alex (@AlexGibbo) February 5, 2015
@LFCKirstyLFC Every cup competition in three words: "Survive and Advance.” We did both last night. Hopefully our good run of form continues.
— GV (@njny) February 5, 2015
@LFCKirstyLFC Typical FA Cup game. Penalty was a bit soft. Magician Coutinho master class. 1 touch passing superb.
— Cliff Morton (@CliffMorton) February 4, 2015
It was a good win for Liverpool but it was another pretty average performance really. Our results of late have masked a lot of our issues and whilst I am undoubtedly pleased that we have reached the next round of the FA Cup I do worry about our form in the long run if we are unable to convert our chances more often.
Next up for Liverpool is Everton!