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Liverpool boss Benitez pleased with players' response after criticism

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez was happy to see his players respond to his withering criticism before yesterday's 3-2 win at Bolton Wanderers.

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

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.

Benitez said: "All our players wanted to impress and do well. 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.

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

Trotters boss Gary Megson added: "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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Tribal Football Staff

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