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England round-up: Liverpool complete fine week

Liverpool FC boosted their UEFA Champions League hopes with a 2-0 victory against Bolton Wanderers FC.

Liverpool FC stepped up their challenge for a UEFA Champions League place with a 2-0 Premiership victory against Bolton Wanderers FC in Saturday's only league game.

Liverpool in form
The win, Liverpool's first at Anfield in the league since November, moved the Merseyside club into sixth place in the table and rounded off a fine week for Gérard Houllier’s side, who claimed a sixth trophy in two years thanks to a 2-0 League Cup final success against Manchester United FC at Cardiff’s Millennium stadium last Sunday.

Bright start
The away side began promisingly and were the better team in the opening half. However, Czech Republic international Vladimir Šmicer forced Bolton goalkeeper Jussi Jääskeläïnen into action as Liverpool pressed Bolton back in the closing stages of the first period, and the opening goal arrived a minute before half-time.

Headed goal
John Arne Riise's cross into the area evaded everyone, but Michael Owen retrieved the ball and found Senegalese international striker El Hadji Diouf, who headed beyond Jääskeläïnen.

Long-range efforts
Bolton came back strongly after the interval, however, and both Youri Djorkaeff and Iván Campo went close as Liverpool were restricted to long-range shots, with midfield players Dietmar Hamann, Bruno Cheyrou and Steven Gerrard all shooting wide from more than 25 metres.

Role reversal
However, Liverpool doubled their advantage after 66 minutes, as Diouf this time provided the assist for Owen, who converted his right-wing cross with a low left-footed shot.

Relegation worries
The result left Bolton in serious relegation trouble as they stayed fourth bottom in the standings with 26 points, level with West Ham United FC but with a better goal difference.