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Man of the Match v. Bristol City: Chris Eagles

Charlie Crowhurst

This is a story all about how Chris Eagles' life was flip-turned upside down. Scoring goals minute by minute then sitting right there, this is how Eagles became the prince of a town called Bel Air... er, Bolton. For so much of this season, Chris Eagles was Bolton' Wanderers danger man. This was especially true during Owen Coyle and Jimmy Phillips' respective tenures.

When Dougie Freedman arrived, Eagles' contribution slowed. At first, the goals dried up but the assists kept coming but those came to a crawl too. Eagles was eventually benched as it became increasingly obvious that playing in every single match had completely drained the man. After sitting out for the Hull City match and a largely unproductive hour against Barnsley, Eagles was introduced into the Blackburn match on the 70 minute mark. He scored the winner at the death, ran the full length of the pitch, and celebrated in front of the travelling Blackburn supporters.

Since that moment, Chris Eagles has looked a rejuvenated player. He has scored twice in his last six games with both of those goals being game-winners in 1-0 affairs.

It was once again very much the Chris Eagles show against Bristol City. The winger didn't score either of Bolton's goals (to be fair, Bolton only scored one of those) nor did he assist either. What Eagles did do was, well, be everywhere. He threatened the Robins' goal with a few long-range efforts, one of which was very close on just five minutes, he pushed their defensive line, and he tracked back (as much as anyone can reasonably expect him to) when the Trotters needed help on defense.

For all of that, Chris Eagles was our man of the match against Bristol City.

He wasn't the only one that deserved mention though. Zat Knight had an excellent game at the back, marshaling the defense. Sam Ricketts had arguably his best game of the season at right back and made a number of vital stops to keep Bolton in the match. Darren Pratley's tenacious play gave Bolton the match's first goal and his non-stop effort in the center of the park helped keep Bristol City at bay so much so that their only production came from the wings.