Bogdan the hero in goalless draw on Heskey’s return to Anfield
In an FA Cup fourth round that has seen shocks galore, many had high hopes that former Liverpool attacker Emile Heskey could help Bolton Wanderers upset the Reds at Anfield.
While the forward put in an impressive showing for 55 minutes, before being taken off, it was his teammate and keeper Adam Bogdan who was the Trotters’ hero, pulling off a string of sensational saves, including one from Lucas Leiva right before the final whistle.
The game started slowly but Bolton would’ve gained confidence from an early corner, which Liverpool struggled to clear.
That set the tone, as the likes of Heskey and fellow Premier League veteran Eidur Gudjohnsen show glimpses of talent by combining with each other, with the former in particular using his physical presence to good effect.
Bolton even had the first real chance, when Dean Moxey’s left-footed screamer just whipped past the post after the half hour mark.
That seemed to spark the Reds into action, though, and there was soon a scramble in the Trotters’ box, that was ended with Glen Johnson’s effort from out the area being saved by Bogdan.
Meanwhile, Heskey put in an assured display in the first half, but was subbed off shortly after the break in the 55th minute.
Not long after that, Liverpool began more waves of attacks, and Philippe Coutinho’s shot saved again by Bogdan, while Javier Manquillo couldn’t get onto the rebound.
The match went the way with Bolton again just after the hour mark, with Gudjohnsen having two good chances, but he side-footed the first wide and smashed the second over the bar.
Coutinho was involved again and threaded Borini in one on one from an angle, but the Italian is superbly denied by Bogdan, this time the Hungarian producing a save from right out of the top drawer.
Another former Liverpool player Jay Spearing came on in the last quarter to take the armband, and it turned out he was to stop Jordan Henderson, who made a surging run into the box, playing a one-two in the process, before being barged out the way.
Brendan Rodgers’ men kept attacking, though, with Lucas seeing a long shot wide, and both Adam Lallana and Borini coming so close with headers just before the 90 minutes were up.
Lucas had one final chance at the death, but once more Bodgan was equal to it, and the final whistle was then blown.
Neil Lennon will be the happier of the two managers, as his Championship side were outplayed by the Reds, and he will now welcome the Merseysiders to the Macron Stadium.
Liverpool didn’t suffer a shock exit in the FA Cup at home on Saturday, like Premier League counterparts Chelsea, Manchester City, Tottenham and Southampton did, but now instead join Manchester United in having to endure a replay.