Roman Pavlyuchenko's attempt to resurrect his Tottenham career gathered pace with the striker taking his tally to four goals in as many days as Spurs claimed their place in the FA Cup sixth round with routine ease. Spurs now face Fulham at Craven Cottage in the quarter-finals and Pavlyuchenko's return to form could hardly be better timed.
Having scored twice at Wigan on Sunday, the Russian made the most of his first start since last October , scoring his side's opening goal in the 23rd minute before concluding a one-sided game with the fourth three minutes from time after Bolton had contributed two own goals.
Linked with a move away for much of the season, the striker is finally showing signs of appearing settled and his return to form provides his manager with a valuable additional option up front as the dual challenge in the Cup and league grows more intense. Harry Redknapp certainly gave indication that Pavlyuchenko is winning him over, indicating the forward is likely to start in Sunday's important league meeting with Everton at White Hart Lane.
"It's a nice selection headache I've got now. Peter Crouch, has done well, Jermain Defoe has done well and I like Eidur Gudjohnsen," Redknapp said. "Last week Roman trained well and he looked like he was ready and that said to me that he really wanted to have a go and that's why he got the opportunity at the weekend. No one wants to see him doing well more than I do because it only makes my job easier.
"He's a smashing lad and he's very laid-back. But sometimes he needs a rocket and at the moment he's playing as though he has had a rocket."
While Redknapp was able to reflect on an almost flawless evening and the return to form of a £14m forward, Bolton manager Owen Coyle was forced to confront another dismal performance in the wake of the weekend defeat at Blackburn. The first meeting between these two sides had provided a rare bright spot in a testing start to Coyle's tenure at the Reebok Stadium and the manager conceded the real business of the season starts now for his team.
"Our real cup finals start now," Coyle said. "We've got 12 games left and we have to make sure Bolton maintain their place in the Premier League."
Bolton actually created the better early chances but Tottenham's control of the midfield areas was such they were always likely to break the visitors down before too long. That moment came when Pavlyuchenko collected Luka Modric's pass, turned the centre-back Zat Knight before finishing calmly past Jussi Jaaskelaninen.
The goalkeeper endured a worse moment in the 35th minute when as he attempted to prevent Wilson Palacios' drilled, low cross from reaching Defoe and succeeded only in hooking the ball into his own net.
The tie was effectively over and Redknapp withdrew Defoe at half-time to give the striker every chance to recover from a slight hamstring problem for the visit of Everton.
Gudjohnsen was introduced to face his former club and Icelander's impact was immediate. Collecting the ball by the halfway line less than two minutes after the restart, he delivered a perfectly weighted ball that allowed Bale to make yet another telling forward run capped by a hard, low cross that Andy O'Brien sliced into his own net.
Pavlyuchenko crowned an impressive display with a close-range second three minutes from time. "It's up to him now, all he can do is carry on playing well, he's in the team, he can only get himself out of the team now," Redknapp said.
Tottenham Hotspur (4-4-2): Gomes; Assou-Ekotto, Dawson, Bassong, Bale; Bentley (Rose 70), Huddlestone, Palacios (Kranjcar 60), Modric; Defoe (Gudjohnsen h-t), Pavlyuchenko. Substitutes not used: Alnwick (gk), Dervite, Kane, Mpoku.
Bolton Wanderers (4-5-1): Jaaskelainen; Ricketts, O'Brien, Knight, Samuel; Taylor, Holden, Muamba, Cohen, Gardner (Riga 56; Lee 79); Klasnic (Elmander 56). Substitutes not used: Al Habsi (gk), Robinson, Davies, Shittu.
Referee: P Walton (Northants).Reuse content