Bolton Wanderers 1-4 Tottenham Hotspur

  • May 02, 2012 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton failed to move out of the Premier League's relegation zone after losing 4-1 to Tottenham Hotspur at the Reebok Stadium.

Wanderers struggled to get out of first gear in a first half where Spurs largely dominated and Harry Redknapp's side took a deserved lead when Luka Modric sent a stunning half volley past Adam Bogdan from the edge of the box, with the Trotters defence losing concentration from a corner.

Owen Coyle's side were level six minutes after the break as Nigel Reo-Coker beat Brad Freidel, but after bombarding the Tottenham goal in the moments after that equaliser, they soon fell behind as a result of two quickfire goals.

First, Rafael van der Vaart tapped the ball into an empty net after a surging run from Gareth Bale, before Emmanuel Adebayor finished in similar circumstances 60 seconds later after a run from Aaron Lennon.

Adebayor added his second, and Tottenham's fourth, with little over 20 minutes to go as Wanderers ran out of steam and looking like a side who had lost all confidence in their ability.

Prior to the game, Fabrice Muamba made an emotional appearance. His first public showing since collapsing as a result of a cardiac arrest when the two teams met in an FA Cup tie at White Hart Lane in March.

Once events on the pitch began, both sides took a while to get going, with the visitors creating the first big chance of the game with 12 minutes on the clock.

Bogdan did well to parry a swerving strike from Bale, before reacting smartly to prevent van der Vaart from tapping home the rebound with a fine double stop.

Five minutes later, Lennon cut inside from the right flank before seeing a shot deflected just over the crossbar by the diving challenge of Sam Ricketts.

Just after the midway point of the first half, Bale picked the ball up on the halfway line and raced towards the byline. His cutback caused havoc in the Bolton defence, but was just behind the run of Adebayor and Wanderers survived.

van der Vaart came close with a curling free-kick on the half hour, sending the ball just wide of Bogdan's right hand post, before Dedryck Boyata put the ball straight into the hands of Freidel with David Ngog left unmarked in the Spurs box.

Ten minutes before the break, a left wing cross from Martin Petrov just evaded the head of Kevin Davies and after Chris Eagles squared the ball back to Ngog, the Frenchman brought a smart save out of Freidel.

Two minutes later, the visitors took the lead. Poor defending from Bolton allowed Modric acre's of space on the edge of the box and after he chested down a van der Vaart corner, the Croat sent a stunning half volley into the top corner, leaving Bogdan with no absolutely no chance.

Bolton had chances to draw level before the break as Eagles volleyed wide from distance, before Kevin Davies found Boyata completely unmarked in the Spurs box, who could only succeed in volleying high over the crossbar from close range.

Wanderers raced out of the blocks after the break and pulled themselves level after 51 minutes as Boyata's throw was flicked on by Kevin Davies and Reo-Coker struck past Freidel from an Ngog flick.

That strike gave Bolton a sudden boost in confidence and they continued to bombard Freidel's goal. Petrov scuffed a volley wide of the target, before the hosts won three corners in quick succession.

After Kevin Davies came close from the first couple of corners, the final one fell at the feet of Eagles, who cut inside from the right before sending a fierce shot inches over the top of the bar.

Football can be a cruel game and that proved to be the case just after the hour, as Spurs hit Bolton on the counter attack and stole the lead, against the run of play.

Bale surged forward into the Bolton half and after advancing into the area, he cut the ball back for van der Vaart to poke home from close range.

Then, just 60 seconds later, the ball was in the Bolton net again as Lennon received the ball in similar circumstances and squared for Adebayor to score an almost carbon copy of the goal that arrived moments before.

Ngog shot straight at Freidel moments after, but the game was put beyond doubt as Adebayor added his second, and Tottenham's fourth, with 20 minutes remaining.

After exchanging passes with van der Vaart, Bale sent Adebayor clean through on goal. The Togo international beat the offside trap and rounded Bogdan, before calmly slotting the ball into the empty net.

Although defeat was on the cards, Bolton continued to go in search of a consolation, but Petrov, Kevin Davies and Eagles all failed to trouble the Spurs goalkeeper.

Adebayor struck over the bar as he went in search of a hat-trick late on, but the result was never beyond doubt as three quickfire goals just after the hour killed off any momentum Wanderers had built up until that point.

The result means Coyle's side remain in 18th position in the Premier League, trailing Queens Park Rangers on goal difference with just two games left to play.

Wanderers return to action on Sunday afternoon when they host West Bromwich Albion at the Reebok Stadium, along with new England boss Roy Hodgson.

Bolton Wanderers: Bogdan, Boyata, Wheater, Ream, Ricketts, Eagles (Miyaichi 83), Reo-Coker (Vela 65), M Davies, Petrov, Ngog (Klasnic 65), K Davies
Subs Not Used: Jaaskelainen, Alonso, Knight, Sordell
Booked: Vela, Eagles
Goals: Reo-Coker 51

Tottenham Hotspur: Freidel, Walker, Gallas (Nelsen 87), Kaboul, Rose, Lennon (Saha 84), Sandro, Modric, Bale, van der Vaart (Livermore 79), Adebayor
Subs Not Used: Cudicini, dos Santos, Defoe, King
Booked: Walker
Goals: Modric 37, van der Vaart 60, Adebayor 62,69

Referee: Mike Dean
Attendance: 22,349

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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