Bolton Wanderers 0-2 Newcastle United

  • December 26, 2011 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton failed to build on Tuesday's victory at Blackburn Rovers as they lost 2-0 at home to Newcastle United on Boxing Day.

In what was an even contest at the Reebok Stadium, the Magpies capitalised on two mistakes in as many minutes as the game entered the final 20 minutes and punished Wanderers with goals from Hatem Ben Arfa and Demba Ba.

The victory was Newcastle's first in seven games and put an end to Bolton's hopes of recording back-to-back wins for the first time this season.

The first half was typical of two sides in poor form, with chances few and far between. It was the visitors who had the first shot of the game, as Leon Best sprung the Bolton offside trap, only to strike across goal and out for a throw with just two minutes on the clock.

Yohan Cabaye sliced a shot wide on 14 mintes, only for the referee, Peter Walton, to penalise Fabrice Muamba for a foul and award Newcastle a free-kick in dangerous territory.

Ryan Taylor took the resulting free-kick from a central position, 25-yards from goal, and brought a fine save out of Jussi Jaaskelainen, who pushed the ball away to safety.

Wanderers were soon treating Gary Cahill and Zat Knight for injuries and both players managed to recover to continue at the heart of the Bolton defence.

Ivan Klasnic was shown a yellow card for a cynical challenge on Cheick Tiote just after the half hour, as frustration seemed to get the better of the Croatia international, who had seen precious little of the ball in the opening period.

With little over five minutes of the first half remaining, Wanderers won a free-kick just outside the Newcastle. A well worked free-kick between Klasnic and Mark Davies resulted in a shooting opportunity for Martin Petrov, who forced Tim Krul into a superb low save.

Moments later, the Magpies won a corner at the other end and came inches away from taking a half-time lead when Leon Best glanced a Ryan Taylor narrowly wide of Jaaskelainen's far post.

Neither manager made any changes at the break and it was Bolton who pushed forward in the early stages of the second period. Petrov raced away from Danny Simpson on the left flank and his cross taken off the toe of Klasnic by a brave piece of goalkeeping from Krul.

With 55 minutes on the clock, David Ngog raced away from Fabricio Coloccini laid the ball off for Klasnic. The Bolton forward looked certain to score but lost control of the ball, before falling to the ground after clipping his own feet.

As the game approached the hour mark, Gabriel Obertan raced away from Paul Robinson and sent a fierce strike at goal, which Jaaskelainen beat away as the game remained goalless.

Toon boss Alan Pardew made a change on the hour, with Ben Arfa coming on to replace Best in the Newcastle attack.

Bolton came close to breaking the deadlock on 66 minutes when Petrov flashed a shot just past Krul's post, before the visitors took the lead in a tale of two substitutions.

Chris Eagles, who had replaced Fabrice Muamba in the Bolton midfield, lost possession to Taylor. The former Wigan defender raced to the byline, before crossing for Ben Arfa to expertly volley past Jaaskelainen.

Then, just as everybody inside the stadium was coming to terms with that strike, Newcastle doubled their lead just a minute later. Obertan once again got the better of Robinson down the right flank and crossed for Ba, who beat Cahill to the ball and direct the ball into the top corner of Jaaskelainen's goal.

After scoring two goals in three minutes, Newcastle continued to press forward in search of more and Bolton were thankful to Jaaskelainen as he denied Ba moments later.

Trotters boss Owen Coyle reacted by making a double substitution, with Kevin Davies and Tuncay coming on for Klasnic and Ngog. The change presented Davies with his 350th appearance for the club.

Unfortunately for the hosts, the changes made no impact on the game and the visitors ran the clock down to secure their first victory at the Reebok Stadium since August 2007.

The defeat is Bolton's third in a row on home turf and their tenth defeat in their last 11 Premier League outings at the Reebok Stadium.

Wanderers are one point off the foot of the Premier League table and know that their home form must improve drastically if they are to remain in the top-flight of English football next season.

Bolton Wanderers: Jaaskelainen, Boyata, Cahill, Knight, Robinson, M Davies, Reo-Coker, Muamba (Eagles 66), Petrov, Klasnic (Tuncay 77), Ngog (K Davies 76)
Subs Not Used: Bogdan, Ricketts, Pratley, Wheater
Booked: Klasnic

Newcastle United: Krul, Simpson, Coloccini, Williamson, R Taylor, Obertan (Shola Ameobi 84), Cabaye (Perch 88), Tiote, Gutierrez, Ba, Best (Ben Arfa 61)
Subs Not Used: Elliot, Sammy Ameobi, Vuckic, Ferguson

Referee: Peter Walton
Attendance: 26,080

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
11 Ipswich Town 20 27
12 Cheltenham Town 19 27
13 Bolton Wanderers 20 26
14 Accrington Stanley 19 24
15 Charlton Athletic 20 23
View Full Standings >>


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