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Football

Bolton third with Liverpool defeat


LONDON, England -- Bolton continued their impressive start to the English Premier League season with a 1-0 win over Liverpool.

Kevin Davies got the only goal of the game on 35 minutes, turning the ball in unmarked after Liverpool' goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek was caught out by Henrik Pedersen's low cross.

Bolton's hard-working performance, which earned them their third win in four matches, overshadowed Xabi Alonso's debut for the visitors.

The Spanish midfielder, who joined Liverpool from Real Sociedad, was not given a chance to settle in the center alongside Steven Gerrard.

Wide midfielder Luis Garcia, an off-season signing from Barcelona, also made his Liverpool debut and was unlucky not to mark it with a goal.

The Spaniard found the net late in the match with Liverpool's best chance but his effort was ruled offside.

"In our opinion, it was a goal," said Liverpool coach Rafael Benitez. "But the problem is that we can not defend."

Bolton's win lifted them to third in the table with nine points, three behind Arsenal and Chelsea who both picked up their fourth wins in four matches on Saturday.

"When you play Liverpool and get a goal it's something you really have to protect, because you know that at some stage they're going to come back into the game with the quality they've got," said Bolton coach Sam Allardyce.

They could easily have scored more against a Liverpool defense which never looked comfortable once Sami Hyypia had departed early in the match with a broken nose.

"We need to work hard and it's a problem of time to try to do the right things. We can't do anything more than that," said Benitez. "When Sami Hyppia broke his nose, it was an important loss for us because Sami in the air is good."

Gary Speed could have opened the scoring on 23 minutes when a slip by Djimi Traore let the Welsh midfielder in to shoot, but his shot was deflected over the bar.

Liverpool coach Rafael Benitez brought on Djibril Cisse at halftime, but the first chance of the second half fell to the home side within a minute of the re-start when Dudek was forced to dive at full stretch to tip away a low drive from Davies.

Ten minutes later Dudek was in action again, tipping away Rahdi Jaidi's header from a freekick delivered by Ivan Campo.

Cisse had to wait until late in the match for his best chance when he was put through by Garcia, but the Frenchman shot high and wide.


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