Saturday, December 03, 2011

Spurs 3 Bolton 0 - Spurs Up to Second

Tottenham with their sixth successive Premier League win move up to second place in the Premier League following a three goal victory over Bolton Wanderers at White Hart Lane.

Tottenham Hotspur 3 Bolton Wanderers 0
Scorers: Bale, Lennon, Defoe
Team: Friedel; Walker, Gallas, Kaboul, Assou-Ekotto; Lennon (Van der Vaart), Parker (Livermore), Modric, Bale; Defoe, Adebayor.  Subs (unused): Cudicini, Bassong, Pienaar, Pavlyuchenko, Corluka

Tottenham Go Second (at least for a short time)

Tottenham had a convincing win over Bolton to record their sixth consecutive Premier League win, a record for the club.  The score could have been so much more as Spurs had 25 goal attempts with sixteen on target as Bolton had to play for over 70 minutes with ten men following the harsh sending off of Gary Cahill for a foul on Scott Parker who captained the Spurs side in  the absence of Ledley King. 

Harry Redknapp made two  changes from last week's team with Luka Modric returning in place of Sandro and  William Gallas starting his first Premier League game of the season as King had taken a knock in training.  Rafael Van der Vaart and Roman Pavlyuchenko returned to the substitutes bench following injury.
Spurs started brightly with quick passing and movement in an open game with Bolton looking to attack when the opportunity presented itself.  In the opening five minutes Bolton had a chance from a free kick but Cahill headed over.  Then on six minutes Spurs went ahead from a Modric corner with Gareth Bale flicking the ball in after meeting it at the near post.  Bale ran to the crowd and held up his red boot as a tribute to his Wales manager, Gary Speed who died last weekend.
Spurs 1 Bolton 0
From this point on, the match was a lengthy catalogue of  chances spurned by Tottenham with the occasional foray by Bolton. 
9 min: from a Bale cross, Jermain Defoe flicked it wide.
18 min: the crucial point which made Bolton's task even more difficult when Gary Cahill was sent off for a foul on Parker who had pinched the ball from him, just inside the Bolton half.  It was a harsh decision considering Parker was so far from the goal.
22 min: a Modric pass to Parker who shot over.
23 min: a cross from Aaron Lennon but Defoe had his shot saved by Jussi Jaaskelainen in the Bolton goal.

While Tottenham had all the possession and chances, it was so nearly level after twenty five minutes when Kyle Walker dived in on Chris Eagles on the right.  Eagles continued across the field and his shot was blocked by Younes Kaboul but it looped high in the air over Friedel who got back to tip it over for a corner.

28 min: Emmanuelk Adebayor had a shot saved.
32 min: Bolton gave the ball away to Bale who shot over from a good position.
33 min: Jaaskelainen saved from Bale, the ball fell to Lennon who passed to Defoe and his shot was saved as well.
36 min: Spurs broke and a lovely ball from Bale to Adebayor but he shot wide.
38 min: Defoe just failed to reach a dangerous cross from Modric.
39 min: Lennon broke quickly and crossed but Adebayor's shot was saved.  Tottenham had had 7 shots on target to this point
40 min: Eagles had a shot saved by Friedel
42 min: Lennon chased a through ball but the goalkeeper collected it just ahead of him. Friedel saved a Bolton free kick and then Parker shot over.
44 min: Mark Davies shot straight at Friedel.
45 min (+1): Bale broke on the left but his cross was missed by both Adebayor and Defoe.

In the second half the match proceeded in a similar vein with Spurs creating dangerous situations every couple of minutes.
47 min: Walker attacked on the right at pace.  He gave the ball to Lennon who crossed to Modric but his shot was blocked by Defoe.
49 min: Spurs again broke at pace following a Bolton corner.  Walker passed to Adebayor who moved it on to Defoe who found Lennon.  The winger came in from the left to score on his 200th start for Spurs.
Spurs 2 Bolton 0
55 min: A lovely ball from Modric found Benoit Assou-Ekotto moving into the box at pace.  He was brought down for a clear penalty but not awarded.
56 min: Corner by Modric to Bale to Walker who shot over.
60 min: A corner after Walker charged forward which Modric took.  Bale again met it at the near post and flicked it on for Defoe to score Spurs' third.
Spurs 3 Bolton 0
62 min: Modric again caused problems for Bolton and Parker shot over.
63 min: Adebayor just failed to intercept a poor back pass.
64 min: The goalkeeper tipped over a Modric shot.
65 min: Bale just missed the ball at the near post from another corner.
66 min: A pass from Modric to Parker who had his shot saved low to Jaaskelainen's right.
68 min: Long range shot from Bale was saved.
69 min: Bolton broke and Kaboul cleared for a corner.
71 min: Assou-Ekotto passed from the left to Modric who turned and shot wide with the goalkeeper beaten.
Van der Vaart came on to replace Lennon.
74 min: Kaboul headed over a Bolton free-kick to concede a corner.
76 min: Van der Vaart had space and found Defoe who took an extra touch and from wide on left he hit the post.
78 min: Van der Vaart gave the ball away and Bolton had a shot blocked.
81 min: From a corner and Bolton got a header which Modric cleared at the back post.  It was too easy for Spurs and some of their passing got casual giving the ball away.
84 min: Jake Livermore replaced Parker.
85 min: Stat for previous five minutes - Tottenham 100% possession.

Spurs were content to keep the ball while the crowd wanted another goal but it wasn't until injury time that another chance came when Adebayor passed to Defoe and his shot was saved with the follow up cleared off the line.  There was a final charge by Bale but the ball got caught between his feet and came to nothing.

Never have I seen a team create so many chances, at will, with the defending team at a complete loss as to what to do about it.  If Spurs had been move clinical in their finishing they could have matched their win over Wigan two seasons ago.  Spurs now move into second place ahead of Manchester United until at least 7.25pm, unless Aston Villa can produce a good result.

Not unexpectedly United won by a single goal so Spurs return to third, two points behind them but three points ahead of Chelsea and with that all important game in hand against Everton.  So, it's off to Stoke next Sunday to try and improve on our VERY impressive Premier League record:



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