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Barclays Premier League

Macron Stadium (ATT 21,939) 7th April 2012 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: M Dean

Bolton Bolton Wanderers vs Fulham Fulham

Bolton 0


Fulham 3

C Dempsey (30, 45)
M Diarra (80)

Fulham too good for Bolton

Dempsey brace helps Cottagers to win

By Graeme Bailey - Tweet me: @skygraemebailey.   Last Updated: 07/04/12 5:56pm

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Fulham closed to within just two points of the top seven after they comfortably beat Bolton Wanderers 3-0 at the Reebok Stadium.

Two first-half goals from Clint Dempsey set Fulham on their way before a late goal from Mahamadou Diarra sealed a thoroughly deserved three points.

Man of the Match: Had to be Clint Dempsey for his two goals, but Damien Duff and Brede Hangeland were also outstanding for Fulham. Goal of the Match: Dempsey's opener was a joy to behold, free-kick into top corner from 35 yards. Pass of the Match Fuham's second goal was an excellent move but Duff's cross to back post for Dempsey was a gem. Save of the Match: Adam Bogdan did brilliantly to deny Duff when he cut back on to his left foot and unleashed an effort at goal. Talking point: Fulham are now just two points off seventh, can they claim a European place?

Bolton had come into the game on the back of three successive wins, but they rarely troubled Fulham and, once the visitors had the lead on the half-hour, the home side never looked like getting anything from the game.

Dempsey's opener was a wonderful effort as he rifled home a free-kick from 35 yards into the top corner before then heading home from close range to double their lead on the stroke of half-time.

After the break, Fulham continued to dominate as Dempsey missed a great chance to seal his hat-trick whilst Damien Duff was twice brilliantly denied by Adam Bogdan.

But Bogdan could do little with the third as Diarra slid home John Arne Riise's cross to seal the win which takes Fulham to within two points of seventh place.

Bolton paid the price for a lacklustre first-half display and remain deep in trouble after their three-game winning run was brought to an end.


They had entered the game with confidence but must now regroup quickly for a tough trip to Newcastle on Monday.

The Trotters made just one change by replacing striker Ivan Klasnic with fit-again midfielder Darren Pratley.

That meant captain Kevin Davies was again on the bench despite scoring on his last two appearances but Bolton might have done with his aggression as they failed to take an early grip.

Fulham were without veteran midfielder Danny Murphy and new strike star Pavel Pogrebnyak but were the more energetic with Duff on song and Dempsey adding the cutting edge.

The game's opening exchanges were quiet and it was not until the 13th minute either side created a serious opportunity as Bolton's David Ngog broke clear on the right only for Ryo Miyaichi to side-foot over.

Duff found space outside the area to hit Fulham's first attempt on goal but his effort found only the side-netting.

Dempsey turned the ball into the net for the first time after 24 minutes when a deflected Duff shot rolled into his path but the flag was raised for offside.

But the American had better luck on the half-hour as he lined up a free-kick 35 yards out after Pratley fouled Diarra.

Dempsey was keen to take it ahead of Riise and Bryan Ruiz and justified his confidence as he connected sweetly to fire into the top corner.

Bolton were slow to respond and Fulham pushed them back again before Dempsey sliced well wide with an ambitious overhead kick.

The Trotters finally showed some intent as Marcos Alonso came forward but shot harmlessly at Mark Schwarzer from distance.

Martin Petrov then looked for Ngog with a cross but Aaron Hughes cleared and Nigel Reo-Coker also shot at Schwarzer.


Yet Fulham continued to look the more dangerous in attack and doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time as Duff beat Alonso on the outside and crossed to the back post for Dempsey to head his second.

Bolton boss Owen Coyle attempted to inject some urgency by sending on Davies and Chris Eagles for Pratley and Miyaichi at the start of the second half.

The rewards were almost immediate as Alonso was tripped just outside the area and Eagles curled a free-kick narrowly wide.

Eagles then had a fierce shot from the edge of the area blocked after the ball came back to him from a corner he had taken.

Petrov tried to control an awkward ball from Davies but volleyed wide from 18 yards as Bolton continued to press for an opening.

Eagles clipped a cross into the area but Ngog collided with Davies and could not keep his header on target.

Bolton were almost caught out as Duff again tricked his way past Alonso to get a clear sight of goal but Bogdan palmed away his low strike.

Ngog beat Brede Hangeland to race towards the Fulham goal but was bundled off the ball by Riise on the edge of the area and referee Mike Dean ignored his appeals for a penalty.

Dempsey spurned a good chance to claim a hat-trick when he shot wide after finding room just inside the Bolton box.

Bolton ignored an injury to Ruiz to continue an attack but Fulham held firm. The Costa Rican received treatment when play was eventually stopped but was unable to continue and was carried off and replaced by Dickson Etuhu.

Fulham ended the game as a contest 10 minutes from time as Riise burst clear unchecked on the left and crossed low for Diarra to slide in a third.

Moussa Dembele threatened another with a good run in the closing moments but was crowded off the ball.

Bolton WanderersTeam StatisticsFulham
01st Half Goals2
1Shots on Target6
8Shots off Target3
3Blocked Shots2
1Yellow Cards0
0Red Cards0
80.8Passing Success80.6
83.3Tackles Success76.5
60.4Territorial Advantage39.6
449Total Passes428
36Total Crosses10
166Lost Balls154
46.71st Half Poss.53.3
56.32nd Half Poss.43.7

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Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 37 84
2 Manchester City 37 76
3 Arsenal 37 72
4 Manchester United 37 69
5 Liverpool 37 62
6 Tottenham Hotspur 37 61
7 Southampton 37 60
8 Swansea City 37 56
9 Stoke City 37 51
10 Everton 37 47
11 West Ham United 37 47
12 Crystal Palace 37 45
13 West Bromwich Albion 37 44
14 Leicester City 37 38
15 Sunderland 37 38
16 Aston Villa 37 38
17 Newcastle United 37 36
18 Hull City 37 34
19 Burnley 37 30
20 Queens Park Rangers 37 30


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