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Match Report


Posted Sat 13 Mar 10 at 21:30 PM

Report: Bolton 4 Wigan 0

Wanderers simply blew away their near neighbours Wigan Athletic with an all-round brilliant performance at the Reebok.

Three second-half goals from Kevin Davies, Fabrice Muamba and Matt Taylor did the damage after Johan Elmander had given the Whites an early lead.

From start to finish
Bolton dominated the contest as they secured the biggest win of their Premier League season.

The result made it six matches unbeaten on home soil on Owen Coyle's side, who also kept a fourth successive clean sheet at the Reebok in top-flight combat in the process.

With Sam Ricketts suspended, Andy O'Brien made his first appearance for five weeks at centre-half. The other change from the defeat at Sunderland was the return of Tamir Cohen for Ricardo Gardner.

Roberto Martinez handed Victor Moses his full debut alongside the in-form Hugo Rodallega in attack, and the threat of the Colombian international was apparent inside the first ten minutes.

He had a penalty appeal waved away by referee Mike Dean, while Zat Knight and Paul Robinson had to make important interceptions to prevent the match-winner against Liverpool from getting a run on goal.

But it was an opposing forward, Johan Elmander, who gave Bolton the lead with just ten minutes played.

A long punt forward from Jussi Jaaskelainen was allowed to bounce before Kevin Davies flicked a header to Elmander. The Sweden international got the better of Gary Caldwell and tucked the ball under Kirkland to score his first goal for Wanderers since the FA Cup fourth round win over Sheffield United in January.

It gave the already vibrant Bolton fans a lift, all of whom had been handed free flags prior to kick-off.

The Latics' first real attempt on goal was a header from Paul Scharner which was easily collected by Jaaskelainen, while Bramble could only nod into the side-netting shortly after as the visitors looked for a response to falling behind.

Kevin Davies blazed wide before the skipper came within a goal-line clearance of doubling Wanderers' lead. It was, in fact, Jack Wilshere who got his body in the way of Davies' towering header from Chung-Yong's corner before it was eventually hacked behind by a combination of Wigan defenders.

Whereas the meeting between the two sides at the DW Stadium three-and-half weeks prior had been a largely quiet affair, this game was proving much more eventful.

And after Bolton's bright start, Wigan bossed the last 20 minutes of the first-half.

N'Zogbia's mazy run-and-shot brought a routine save out of Jaaskelainen, but the former Finland international made an even better stop from the former Newcastle United man to prevent Wigan from equalising three minutes before the break.

Rodallega got a headed touch to Moses' cross from the left before Scharner guided the ball into N'Zogbia's path. The winger looked to curl the ball into the bottom corner, but Jaaskelainen threw himself to his right to make a typically brilliant save.

Wanderers commenced the second-half in the best possible fashion as they doubled their lead from the penalty spot three minutes after the restart.

When Tamir Cohen had been sent tumbling by Caldwell inside the box, Mike Dean had no hesitations in pointing to the spot.

It was Davies who stepped up from 12 yards, sending Kirkland the wrong way with an extremely cool finish to score his first ever penalty in his professional career.

Then came Fabrice Muamba's first goal for the club just six minutes later - 20 months after he joined from Birmingham City.

After latching on to Chung-Yong's pass, beating Caldwell and finding the corner of the net with a precise finish, the England U21 international raced over to celebrate with his manager.

Indeed, the chants of Owen Coyle's name were booming out of the Reebok Stadium as the Whites continued to press, showing no mercy against their rivals.

Davies was caught in two minds when he tried to convert Paul Robinson's cross with his chest and Elmander's left foot shot drew a fine save from Kirkland.

There was no doubt Wigan had been stunned by Wanderers' explosive start after half-time and it took up until the 61st minute before they offered anything in the final third - a Rodallega header that drifted onto the roof of the net.

It was proving to be a day to forget for Caldwell, and his afternoon got even worse when he inadvertently helped to assist Bolton's fourth goal of the game on 69 minutes.

Matt Taylor had only been on the pitch a matter of minutes when he capitalised on the central defender's poor clearance, slotting into the corner of the net with his weaker right foot.

Kevin Davies was given a breather with 14 minutes left as Ivan Klasnic came on looking to add to the already impressive goal tally.

The Croatian was just yards away from making it five with an acrobatic attempt and a sliding close-range finish, but in the end Wanderers were content with the four goals which took their points tally to 32 and moved them back up to 13th position in the Premier League table.

Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Knight, O'Brien, Robinson, Chung-Yong, Muamba, Cohen, Wilshere, Elmander, Davies (Subs: Al Habsi, Shittu, Gardner, Riga, Weiss, Klasnic, Taylor)

Wigan: Kirkland, Scharner, Moses, N'Zogbia, Boyce, Bramble, Rodallega, McCarthy, Diame, Caldwell, Figueroa (Subs: Amaya, Thomas, Scotland, Gomes, Sinclair, Moreno, Stojkovic)

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