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Match Report


Posted Sun 25 Oct 09 at 22:51 PM

Report: Bolton 3 Everton 2

Ivan Klasnic came off the substitutes' bench to grab a late winner as Wanderers marched up to twelfth position in the Barclays Premier League with a hard earned 3-2 victory over Everton.

The on-loan striker's winner came after Everton fought back from Bolton's early two-goal lead.

Chung-Yong Lee converted Sam Ricketts' low cross to put Wanderers ahead before Gary Cahill's header doubled the advantage.

Everton reduced arrears on 32 minutes when Louis Saha powered in a left-footed drive from just outside the penalty area.

And they brought the scores level through a Marouane Fellaini shot ten minutes into the second half.

But the day belonged to Klasnic and Bolton when the deserved winner came just six minutes before full-time.

In the build-up, Wanderers had been boosted with the return to the squad of Andy O'Brien, who had missed the last couple of matches due to hernia surgery. The central defender was named amongst the substitutes as Gary Megson kept faith with the same starting line-up from the encouraging performance at Old Trafford.

David Moyes however made three changes to the Everton side that been heavily beaten in midweek away to Benfica, with Johnny Heitinga, Lucas Neill and Louis Saha coming into the fray.

Bolton started proceedings in a similar to the way they ended the match at Old Trafford the previous weekend, and could have been a goal to the good on two occasions within the first five minutes.

Chung-Yong Lee did excellently to carve out a bit of space with a drop of the shoulder on the edge of the area before releasing the overlapping Jlloyd Samuel. The full-back delivered an inch perfect cross which picked out the unmarked Tamir Cohen at the far post. The Israel international had slightly too much time and his powerful header was guided fractionally wide of the post.

In the next attack, Wanderers were once again within a whisker of nudging themselves ahead. This time it was Kevin Davies who nodded inches wide after being excellently picked out by a raking free-kick by Matt Taylor.

The first 15 minutes had undoubtedly belonged to the Whites and they made their dominance count when Chung-Yong Lee netted his second goal for the club with a precise left-footed finish.

Patient play in midfield by Fabrice Muamba, Ricardo Gardner and Taylor resulted in Sam Ricketts embarking on a lung-bursting dart down the right touchline. Having reached the by-line, the former Hull City man delivered a low centre which Chung-Yong converted from just eight yards out.

Having fallen a goal behind, Everton increased their tempo and enjoyed a period of concerted pressure deep in Bolton territory. A jinking run from Saha almost resulted in Cahill levelling the scores, Zat Knight was well positioned to head away a dangerous Dan Gosling cross, while Jo's cross-shot clipped the top of Jussi Jaaskelainen's bar.

But Everton's rally was cut short when Gary Cahill doubled Wanderers lead with a towering header on 27 minutes.

Matt Taylor - from a not too dissimilar position from which he had provided an earlier Kevin Davies chance - whipped in an excellent deep set-piece and Cahill held off his marker Silvain Distin to plant a header low past Tim Howard's left hand.

However, the lead was halved within four minutes as the Toffees responded with a goal of their own - a 25 yard drive scored by Saha.

A ball through the centre of midfield evaded Muamba's attempted sliding clearance, and the French striker cut inside and powered a long-range effort into the top corner which avoided Jaaskelainen's full-stretched right hand.

Bolton were in no way despondent in Everton's mini-revival and sought a means of regaining their two-goal advantage.

Sam Ricketts was causing numerous problems with attacks down the right, and another of his marauding runs resulted in a Taylor corner that somehow missed everyone inside a packed penalty box.

But just on the stroke of half-time, Jo fired in a free-kick from just outside the penalty area that came dangerously close to bringing Jaaskelainen into the action.

It was an even opening to the second half with play shared between the two teams. The pace was simmering along steadily up until Marouane Fellaini's equaliser on 55 minutes.

A long ball over the top by Neill found the well timed run of the Belgian midfielder, who carried the ball into the penalty area and fired into the roof of the net, beating Jaaskelainen at the near post.

The goal - along with a couple of rash challenges - brought the second half to life, and Gary Megson responded to Everton's leveller by bringing Ivan Klasnic onto the field and adopting a 4-4-2 formation.

Chung-Yong shifted to the right side of midfield as a result, and it was his trickery which helped forged an opportunity for Muamba on 67 minutes - a skidding shot that was deflected wide for a corner.

Muamba was in the thick of everything in a second half that certainly had much more attrition than the first. If it hadn't been for his well timed challenge on Gosling, then Everton were in with a real shout of turning the game in their favour.

The visitors broke quickly after a Wanderers attack, but Muamba read the danger well and made a crucial interception just as it looked like Gosling was about to square to the two unmarked Everton attackers.

Play was held up for a few minutes when Ivan Klasnic suffered a head injury in a tussle with Lucas Neill, but the Croatian international recovered to fire in his first goal for Wanderers on 84 minutes and earn his side the victory.

A long kick forward by Jaaskelainen came off a combination of Neill and Kevin Davies, and Klasnic was in the right place to hit a low, first-time effort from the edge of the area that sneaked in between the dive of Tim Howard and his near post.

Four minutes of injury time were signalled by the fourth official, mainly due to a head injury inflicted on Klasnic, but the Toffees couldn't find an equaliser as Wanderers recorded a well-earned threee points in front of their own fans.

Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Samuel, Knight, Cahill, Ricketts, Muamba, Cohen, Gardner (Klasnic 64), Chung-Yong (Basham 89), Taylor, Kevin Davies (Subs not used: Al Habsi, Steinsson, Mark Davies, Basham, O'Brien, Robinson)

Everton: Howard, Hibbert, Heitinga (Coleman 80), Neill, Distin, Rodwell, Fellaini, Gosling, Cahill, Saha, Jo (Subs not used: Nash, Coleman, Duffy, Agard, Baxter, Walace, Akpan)

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