Bolton win relegation battle
Trotters move to 14th in league thanks to crucial win over Wigan
Last Updated: 09/12/07 5:41pm
Nolan: Second goal
Bolton ran out 4-1 winners in their relegation six pointer against Wigan to pull clear of the drop-zone into 14th place in the Premier League.
The Trotters went in front in the third minute thanks to a Paul Scharner own goal when he headed an El-Hadji Diouf cross into his own net when under no pressure.
But Wigan equalised 11 minutes later thanks to a great strike by Denny Landzaat past the unsighted Jussi Jaaskelainen.
Nicolas Anelka was guilty of a horrendous penalty miss before Kevin Nolan restored Bolton's lead in the 37th minute.
Wigan put Bolton under great pressure after the restart but the Trotters held firm and poor marking from Andreas Granqvist led to Kevin Davies getting a decisive third goal in the 70th minute from a El-Hadji Diouf free-kick.
Anelka then wrapped up the victory with the fourth goal in the 89th minute from a Davies cross.
Last week, a calamitous Titus Bramble blunder 'gifted' Manchester City a 28-second lead. On Sunday, Wigan lasted slightly longer - but there was still less than three minutes on the clock when Scharner headed into his own net.
On the touchline, Steve Bruce must have suffered a horrible feeling of deja-vu.
However, just as they did eight days ago, Wigan responded to the setback admirably - rolling up their sleeves, taking the fight to their opponents and deservedly drawing level.
There was a comical element to the Latics equaliser too as Abdoulaye Meite stuck out a foot to prevent Emmerson Boyce's low cross reaching Emile Heskey,only to see the ball roll perfectly for Landzaat - who found the net in clinical fashion.
Wigan should really have been behind midway through the half when Andreas Granqvist blocked Danny Guthrie's bouncing shot with an arm.
In such circumstances, Anelka is normally a man to be relied on. That was no so on this occasion, though, the French forward scooping a woeful spot-kick high over the bar.
Thankfully for Bolton's record signing, Nolan was able to spare his blushes before half-time.
The impudent way he flicked home the loose ball, after Granqvist had blocked Anelka's shot, suggested his confidence is rising too.
Jussi on form
Three times at the start of the second period, Jussi Jaaskelainen was called upon to protect Bolton's lead.
Out of contract in the summer, Jaaskelainen proved his worth with a superb reaction save to deny Marcus Bent - having already repelled Heskey and Landzaat.
Heskey should have scored when he met Jason Koumas' cross with a firm header, although the same could also have been said about Diouf at the other end when Davies picked him out at the far post.
The outcome was still in the balance. But Davies removed any doubt when he completed an unhappy afternoon for Granqvist, getting on the wrong side of the Swedish defender to steer home Diouf's far-post cross from close range.
Anelka rounded off the scoring a minute from time, tapping in his ninth goal of a campaign that is suddenly looking full of hope for Bolton.
|Bolton Wanderers||Team Statistics||Wigan Athletic|
|2||1st Half Goals||1|
|4||Shots on Target||6|
|5||Shots off Target||5|
Barclays Premier League
|16||West Bromwich Albion||16||15|
|17||West Ham United||16||14|