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Match Report


Posted Thu 29 Mar 12 at 16:17 PM

Report: Tottenham 3 Bolton 1

Bolton Wanderers' commitments in the FA Cup came to a brave end at White Hart Lane as Tottenham booked a semi-final spot with a 3-1 victory.

The star of the show was goalkeeper Adam Bogdan, who produced a countless number of world-class saves to keep the hosts at bay up until the 75th minute when Ryan Nelsen headed his team into the lead from a corner.

Gareth Bale made it 2-0 shortly after when he finished a swift break away move, however substitute Kevin Davies' close-range finish in the 90th minute brought Bolton back into the game late on.

But a clinical curler with the very last kick from Louis Saha sealed the win for the North London side.

Earlier, Darren Pratley had been stretchered off in the first half after sustaining a deep cut on his left leg.

Owen Coyle made five changes from the side that triumphed over Blackburn four days earlier. And just like the Lancashire derby, there was a minutes' worth of applause in support of Fabrice Muamba prior to kick-off.

Once the action got underway, it was played at a proper cup tie pace. Spurs enjoyed the brighter start, looking to press the home advantage.

Gareth Bale forced Adam Bogdan into an early save with a 30-yard tester, however an even greater contribution from the Hungarian was necessary in the hosts' next attack.

Jake Livermore got a run on goal down the right but was denied from close-range by an excellent reflex save by the Bolton stopper. As the ball bounced out to Luka Modric, Bogdan got back to his feet in double quick speed before turning the Croatian's shot over for a corner with a full-stretch dive.

Bogdan was keeping Bolton in the game as he continued to be at the centre of the action. He comfortably saved a Rafael van der Vaart curler and then made another double save, this time denying Emmanuel Adebayor from long range and Gareth Bale at his near post.

Wanderers stuck with Spurs throughout the first half, but their efforts took a blow when Darren Pratley was stretchered off on the half-hour mark with a brace around his left leg after receving a deep cut.

The injury seemed to occur in pretty innocuous circumstances as the former Swansea man went in for a challenge with Bale. However, he was forced from the field with Tim Ream coming off the bench to slot into a holding midfield role as a replacement.

The Whites managed to get into half-time with the scores level, but they had to weather a storm from Tottenham in the minutes leading up to the interval.

Bale fizzed two 30-yard efforts inches wide, while Bogdan made arguably his best save of the half when he flung himself low to his right to keep out Scott Parker's toe-poke from six yards out.

It was more of the same at the start of the second half as Tottenham came out and took the game to Bolton.

Van der Vaart struck the crossbar from a free-kick just two minutes after the restart, while Ledley King headed onto the roof of the net. And when Spurs did manage to hit the target, they continued to be thwarted by the inspired Bogdan.

The Bolton goalkeeper saved excellently with his right boot after van der Vaart had been played in on goal, and in Spurs' next attack, Bogdan did the same, this time denying Adebayor.

Harry Redknapp introduced Jermain Defoe with 20 minutes remaining but he too couldn't find a way past Bogdan, who tipped a low right-footed shot around the post three minutes after entering the fray.

As the home side pressed for the opening goal, they left the door open for Owen Coyle's men to exploit. Chris Eagles' deflected drive looped just over the bar and Ivan Klasnic was foiled by Carlo Cudicini when he tried to catch the Italian out with a cute near post finish.

The Bolton fans were thinking it might be one of those 'smash and grab' nights, but Bolton's brave resilience was broken by unlikely goalscorer Ryan Nelsen with a quarter of an hour remaining.

The former Blackburn man scored his first goal for the club when he towered inside the penalty area to power in van der Vaart's inswinging corner.

Two minutes later, the lead was doubled as Tottenham netted their second with a swift counter-attack.

Defoe, on the left touchline, spotted Bale's sprint from midfield, and after being picked out, the Welshman took one touch before planting the ball into the bottom corner of the net.

Despite the uphill task, Wanderers battled valiantly in the final ten minutes.

Just as the fourth official signalled for three minutes of stoppage time, Kevin Davies reduced arrears with a sliding finish after Klasnic had delivered an inviting centre from the right.

It set up a nervy ending, but Spurs sealed the win with the last kick of the match when substitute Louis Saha curled beyond Bogdan to book their Wembley date against fellow Londoners Chelsea.

Tottenham: Cudicini, Assou-Ekotto, King, Nelsen, Walker, Parker (Defoe 70), Livermore, Modric, Van der Vaart (Rose 78), Bale, Adebayor (Saha 78) (Subs not used: Friedel, Kaboul, Dos Santos, Kranjcar)

Bolton: Bogdan, Alonso, Knight, Boyata (Kevin Davies 75), Ricketts, Eagles, Ryo (Tuncay 78), Mark Davies, Pratley (Ream 27), Reo-Coker, Klasnic (Subs not used: Jaaskelainen, Petrov, Ngog, Vela)

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