A result away to Spurs at the Lane this season is a tough proposition for any team, especially one that’s still suffering an extremely poor run of form. After the win against Wolves midweek, Bolton found themselves back in 8th place in the table. However, the win against Wolves was anything but convincing as we just happened to get lucky that Zubar’s backpass was beyond terrible and Sturridge was cool enough to take it away and slot it home.
Hit the jump for the full match report and highlights.
Referee Mark Clattenburg decided to start the scoring off early for Spurs by awarding a penalty just 6 minutes in. Kevin Davies slid to block a ball, pinning it under his armpit. Because his arm was in the vicinity of his shoulder, as arms tend to be, the ref pointed straight to the spot where Rafael van der Vaart converted. 1-0.
Spurs were given a second chance for the spot not long after the first goal as Samuel Ricketts brought down Aaron Lennon in the box. Van der Vaart converted again but the penalty had to be retaken due to encroachment by Spurs players. The second attempt went well wide left.
In the 55th minute, Daniel Sturridge decided that it would be a great idea to show the Bolton fans why the Chelsea faithful rate him so highly. Mark Davies found Daniel Sturridge with a pass across the center of the midfield, allowing the forward some space to have a go across the face of goal. His shot went hard to the low post with Gomes getting a touch on it but not enough to keep the ball out of the back of the net. Two goals in two games for the deadline day signing. Form.
Then just three minutes later, controversy. If you look at text feeds of the match, they’ll all say “yellow for simulation” as the referee booked Gary Cahill for a supposed dive. There was clear contact on Cahill from Pienaar's outstretched foot but shouts for a penalty were denied. We can say that “Cahill is just not that type of player” over and over, and while he’s clearly not, the fact of the matter is that a clear scoring chance and opportunity to go 2-1 up were not given.
Finally, credit where credit is due: that Niko Kranjcar winner. What a hit that was. Deep into stoppage time with really no hope of a comeback, the Croatian faked a shot, took a step towards center, and just let it rip from about 20 yards out. Even though Jussi appeared to get a touch on it, the save was impossible with the quality of the shot, always curling away. That settled it. 2-1.
A tough game home to a resurgent Everton awaits.