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The struggling Reds

Two years ago Liverpool went into the New Year top of the League with 45 points from 20 games but they host Bolton on Saturday in 12th with a paltry 22-point return from a painful first half of the season.

sports Updated: Dec 31, 2010 00:25 IST

Two years ago Liverpool went into the New Year top of the League with 45 points from 20 games but they host Bolton on Saturday in 12th with a paltry 22-point return from a painful first half of the season.

Things reached a nadir on Wednesday when a Wolves team who had collected a solitary point from their eight previous away games as they slid to the bottom of the league won 1-0 at Anfield-Liverpool's eighth defeat of the season.

If it had been a backs-to-the wall defensive effort with a breakaway goal then maybe Liverpool's fans could have swallowed the latest setback but it was anything but a fluke. Wolves dominated from start to finish, kept their first clean sheet of the season and should have had more goals.

Liverpool, even with Steven Gerrard back for the first time in six weeks after a hamstring tear, were awful and it was entirely predictable that they were booed off.

"The fans have left angry and that's understandable," said manager Roy Hodgson, who cuts an increasingly desperate figure on the touchline with each passing match.

"However, it would be dangerous to clear a lot of players out on the basis of one game. We wanted our renaissance to start today but it hasn't happened. Panic would be the wrong thing to do but I'm not the sole arbiter of that."

Man gets 24 years for attack on Togo team
Luanda, Angola:
An Angolan court has convicted one man and acquitted another after the attack on the Togo soccer team earlier this year. It was travelling to the African Cup of Nations in January when the bus came under a hail of gunfire in the restive Cabinda region. A team coach, a press official and a bus driver were killed. Eight others were wounded, including a goalkeeper who suffered spine injuries.