A starting side that was unchanged from the loss to Liverpool last weekend returned to the Reebok to face a very much in-form Tottenham team who are undefeated in five of their last seven. Spurs are coming off an absolutely massive mid-week result that saw them beat the European champions 3-2. Bolton will hope that Tottenham will be a bit hungover from their mid-week play.
Hit the break for a full match report and highlights!
History is on our side in this one though! Spurs have not won a game away to Bolton since 1996. Massive. Peter Crouch has 5 goals on the season thus far, a good tally, but not a single one of those has come in Premier League competition. Here’s hoping that he doesn’t end that drought against the Wanderers. Stuart Holden, on the other hand, hasn’t scored in about 16 months. The last time he scored, he was still in the Houston Dynamo orange.
The first half of the match was fairly uneventful. A few balls off target here and there before Matty Taylor finally got Bolton’s first shot on target in the 25th minute. Not much in it, really, until the 31st minute that is.
Tottenham’s Sandro was caught in possession at the back by Fabrice Muamba. Fab got the ball away from the young Brazillian and played a crucially clean ball to Kevin Davies who found himself alone at the top of the box. Calm, cool, and collected, Super Kev took a shot low and to the far post. The goalkeeper Gomes got a hand on it but the shot went past him and into the back of the net. Kevin Davies was a foot or two offsides but there was no call. 1-0.
Spurs would almost pull one back in the 53rd minute. Paul Robinson went in late on a tackle and managed to get none of the ball (like always). A yellow card later, Tottenham were given a free kick opportunity in a glorious position. Gareth Bale (who else) took the shot and had Jaaskelainen beat the whole way. The post, our savior.
Bolton would double the advantage in the 56th minute. Elmander cut the ball back and found Gretar Steinsson on the corner of the box. The Icelandic full-back took a single touch, turned, and extended his right foot to fire the ball to the far post and past Gomes who had no chance of stopping it.
In the 74th minute, a failed clearance fell to Matty Taylor who then took the volley. It looked good. It looked very good. However, he was denied by the post. Just a minute later, Spurs’ Benoit Assou-Ekotto tripped Chung-Yong in the box and was punished with a penalty. Kevin Davies stepped over the spot and very calmly placed it high, to the right, and in. While Gomes guessed the right direction, he was far too low to even have a shot of stopping it. 3-0 with 76 minutes gone.
Three minutes later, Alan Hutton pulled something special out of his hat in order to get one back for Tottenham. .The defender dribbled along the top of the box and after a few touches, got the ball onto his left foot. A simply beautiful bending shot made its way around the fully-extended Jussi Jaaskelainen.
Tottenham’s second goal in the 87th minute was equally spectacular. The talk of the town, Gareth Bale, sent a free kick into the area that found the head of a Bolton defender. The clearance didn’t go very far, making its way to Roman Pavlyuchenko (who came on at the half). The Russian attempted a spectacular volley at the corner of the six-yard box and powered the ball home. 3-2, then.
The whites would have to hold on for the next three minutes plus an incredibly long four minutes of stoppage time. Tottenham pushed up for the equaliser but were undone late thanks to their advance forward. A long ball caught the Spurs defense out and Kevin Davies very expertly back-headed the ball to the feet of Martin Petrov who found acres and acres of space. After bringing the ball in, the Bulgarian needed just a deft touch with the outside of his left foot to find the back of the net and seal the game. 4-2. Massive.
After the day's results played out, Bolton find themselves sitting in 5th place in the table with a positive goal differential. 5 points clear of relegation but just 1 above 10th place, the whites need more of these results.