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Barclays Premier League

Craven Cottage (ATT 21,102) 15th August 2007 - Kick off 19:45 Ref: L Probert

Fulham Fulham vs Bolton Wanderers Bolton

Fulham 2


Bolton 1

Fulham see off Bolton

By Andrew Scurr.   Last Updated: 19/08/07 5:53pm

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Smertin: Scored winner

Smertin: Scored winner

Fulham inflicted a second successive defeat on Bolton and in turn picked up their first three points of the new Premier League season.

Lawrie Sanchez's side had to do it the hard way, though, coming from behind after Tony Warner dropped the ball at Heidar Helguson's feet to gift Bolton the opener.

But Fulham fought back and drew level when David Healy pounced to finish into the top corner after Helguson's poor defensive header.

Minutes later Alexei Smertin fired home the winner from the edge of the area, but with some help from Gerald Cid who deflected the drive into the opposite corner.

Nicolas Anelka went closest to equalising in the second half but Sammy Lee is still searching for his first league win as Bolton boss.

Warner had performed admirably at Arsenal on Sunday after first choice Antti Niemi had been injured in the warm-up but was hugely at fault as he somehow dropped a ball into Helguson's path in the 13th minute.

A bump against the huge frame of Zat Knight following Nicky Hunt's huge throw had occurred but still his slip appeared to be completely avoidable.

Helguson, who cost the Trotters £2.1million, then helped his old club equalise and again it was from a long throw.

Knight was also involved again, heading the ball into the air, and when Helguson tried to nod away he succeeded only in clashing with Abdoulaye Meite and diverting the ball towards his own goal.

Healy was on it in a flash, controlling, turning and firing past Jussi Jaaskelainen in an instant to add to his opening day strike at Arsenal - which had also been a gift from a goalkeeper.

Jaaskelainen was given no chance three minutes later when Smertin tried his luck from outside the box and saw his drive veer off Cid and into the far corner of the net.

But fortune did favour the Finn just before the break when he opted to bounce rather than grab a ball to the very edge of his box.

Brian McBride challenged and came away with the ball only for referee Lee Probert to award a free-kick to Bolton.

El Hadji Diouf, who had been unhappy at not starting against Newcastle, showed Lee what he can do straight after the restart when he whipped in a cross from the left that Nolan somehow put wide at the back post.

Warner then redeemed himself for his earlier error by pulling off an acrobatic tip-round to deny Anelka, who had been teed up for a curling effort inside the box by Cid, who stayed up to plant a free header wide.

Diouf then sent an angled effort just wide and Anelka, who had been quiet for a while, saw Chris Baird throw himself in the way of a drive.

Substitute Diomansy Kamara was convinced he should have been awarded a penalty when sandwiched between Cid and Hunt in the box. Referee Probert thought otherwise however.

Bolton threw men forward as the minutes ticked away, including Jaaskelainen in stoppage time, but Fulham held on to get their season off to a winning start at the second attempt.

FulhamTeam StatisticsBolton Wanderers
21st Half Goals1
6Shots on Target5
2Shots off Target7
1Blocked Shots4
2Yellow Cards1
0Red Cards0
63.8Passing Success63.7
84.2Tackles Success87.5
50.8Territorial Advantage49.2



Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 23 53
2 Manchester City 23 48
3 Manchester United 23 43
4 Southampton 23 42
5 Arsenal 23 42
6 Tottenham Hotspur 23 40
7 Liverpool 23 38
8 West Ham United 23 36
9 Swansea City 23 33
10 Stoke City 23 32
11 Newcastle United 23 30
12 Everton 23 26
13 Crystal Palace 23 23
14 Sunderland 23 23
15 West Bromwich Albion 23 22
16 Aston Villa 23 22
17 Burnley 23 20
18 Hull City 23 19
19 Queens Park Rangers 23 19
20 Leicester City 23 17