Bolton win to leapfrog Spurs
By Richard Jolly. Last Updated: 01/02/05 9:45pm
Their set-piece expertise may only win them grudging praise, but it helped Bolton beat Tottenham 3-1 to leapfrog the Londoners and take eighth place.
In an eventful second half, El-Hadji Diouf gave Bolton a 49th-minute lead from the penalty spot and Tal Ben Haim headed a decisive second with four minutes to go after Jermain Defoe had equalised.
Kevin Davies rubbed salt into Spurs wounds with a late third, but the 10 men of Tottenham were angered by referee Mike Dean, who ruled in Bolton's favour at two pivotal junctures.
Separated by five minutes and about 80 yards, Dean had two penalty decisions to make. The first - when Erik Edman's upraised hand beat Davies' head to the ball - resulted in Diouf's calm opener.
The second, when a Frederic Kanoute free kick appeared to be blocked by the outstretched arm of Ivan Campo, was rejected. Dean flourished his yellow card at Kanoute and Ledley King in quick succession and when the Mali forward rashly slid in on Anthony Barness later, it resulted in his dismissal.
As an unfortunate drinks holder bore the brunt of Kanoute's wrath, his departure meant Spurs had fielded a three-pronged strike attack for barely five minutes. The demoted Defoe emerged from the bench to cap a classy counter-attack with his 17th goal of the season.
Keane escaped Ben Haim's attentions with a surge down the left flank, centred for Defoe, whose shot on the turn found Jussi Jaaskelainen wanting.
Kanoute was not involved, but posed the sole threat in the first 20 minutes when, lithe and lively, he had a hat-trick of attempts. All, however, were off target.
Lacking the guile of the hamstrung Jay-Jay Okocha, Bolton adoped more a rudimentary approach, but the first casualty of their aerial assualt was Anthony Gardner's nose. The Spurs defender was stitched up while Davies headed a Stelios Giannakopoulos corner wide.
But his height, and Kevin Nolan's colossal throws, brought Bolton a penalty while, distinctive as the idiosyncratic Campo appears, Dean did not spot his offence in the wall at the other end.
Fuelled by a sense of injustice, Spurs surged forward and Jaaskelainen saved from both Michael Brown and Stephen Kelly before Defoe's finish beat the Finn.
With 10 men, Spurs had to be more prudent. Boss Jol, a shopaholic in January, chose to keep his seven new purchases under wraps with Radek Cerny and Mido unused substitutes.
But Nolan's ability to elude Stephen Kelly twice brought opportunities for the midfielder, who shot wide each time. Set pieces proved a trustier weapon and Ben Haim headed in Speed's corner.
And with Tottenham cowed, Diouf curled a pass around the defence for Davies to add an emphatic third. For Bolton, who paraded new signing Vincent Candela before kick-off, it provided a satisfactory conclusion to an evening that had started well.
Click here for Bolton v Tottenham player ratings
|Bolton Wanderers||Team Statistics||Tottenham Hotspur|
|0||1st Half Goals||0|
|8||Shots on Target||1|
|6||Shots off Target||6|
Barclays Premier League
|16||West Bromwich Albion||16||15|
|17||West Ham United||16||14|