Bolton lift pressure with win
Victory over Reading takes Bolton off the bottom
Last Updated: 25/08/07 7:06pm
Diouf: Battles with Golbourne
Bolton produced a sparkling performance out of keeping with recent results to defeat Reading 3-0 at The Reebok Stadium and climb off the bottom of the Premier League table.
Gary Speed's towering header from El Hadji Diouf's corner gave Bolton a deserved lead after 32 minutes, and also preserved his record of scoring in each of the 16 seasons since the Premier League started in 1992.
Nicolas Anelka's link-up play with El Hadji Diouf was a feature throughout and the two combined to devastating effect after 55 minutes as the Frenchman latched onto his team-mate's pass and rounded Marcus Hahnemann.
Anelka then turned provider moments from time as Daniel Braaten put the gloss on a display that will lift the pressure greatly on manager Sammy Lee.
Bolton set the tempo from the start and Reading found it difficult to handle Anelka and Diouf, the Bolton strikers who have both been linked with move away from the club in the last week of the transfer window.
The two players showed good skill as well as pace and movement to continually trouble their opponents.
Diouf released Gavin McCann with a clever reverse ball in the sixth minute, although a poor first touch let the former England international down.
Bolton almost took the lead in the 24th minute when Anelka fired in a powerful shot only for goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann to make a superb block, before Bikey denied Diouf as he moved onto the rebound.
Bolton made the breakthrough after 31 minutes thanks to veteran midfielder Speed, who scored with a firm header from Diouf's corner.
Bolton were growing in confidence and McCann tested Hahnemann in the 48th minute following a neat one-two with Diouf.
Reading hit back in the 53rd minute and De la Cruz carved out an opening for himself in the area, but he could only hit the side-netting.
It was a brief respite for Reading as a minute later Anelka raced forward and whipped in 25-yard shot that went narrowly wide of the post.
Reading, however, failed to heed the warning and the France striker extended Bolton's lead in the 55th minute, evading a weak challenge from De la Cruz before beating Hahnemann for his third goal in four games.
Bolton were spraying the ball around well and Diouf delivered a superb cross in the 61st minute that Golbourne did well to head away.
Anelka found the net again in the 64th minute following good work by Kevin Nolan but his effort was ruled out for an infringement.
Bolton continued to dominate the game and Nolan saw a superb volley go narrowly wide of the post in the 81st minute.
However, they completed a comfortable victory when Braaten added a third in stoppage time with a clinical finish from a superb Anelka cross.
|Bolton Wanderers||Team Statistics||Reading|
|1||1st Half Goals||0|
|6||Shots on Target||2|
|6||Shots off Target||3|
Barclays Premier League
|4||West Ham United||8||13|
|14||West Bromwich Albion||8||9|
|20||Queens Park Rangers||8||4|