Defoe proves his point as Tottenham edge thriller

Bolton Wanderers 3 Tottenham Hotspur 4 (aet)
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The Independent Online

As a lesson in man-management, Jacques Santini's decision to drop Jermain Defoe last weekend proved to be inspired as the Tottenham Hotspur striker, restored to the side, ended a five-week barren spell with two goals that ultimately decided this exhilarating Carling Cup tie.

As a lesson in man-management, Jacques Santini's decision to drop Jermain Defoe last weekend proved to be inspired as the Tottenham Hotspur striker, restored to the side, ended a five-week barren spell with two goals that ultimately decided this exhilarating Carling Cup tie.

Heading out the competition with just five minutes of normal time remaining, full-back Goran Bunjevcevic forced home Spurs' second equaliser of the night to trigger an additional period that contained as much drama as the previous 90 minutes before the dust settled on the narrowest of victories for Santini's impressively resilient side.

The evening started, however, in a more sombre way when Khalilou Fadiga, the Bolton midfielder, collapsed in the warm-up. Fadiga, who underwent heart surgery in May, fell to the floor suddenly and was carried from the pitch. He later recovered consciousness and was taken to hospital as a precaution.

"He had just about finished the warm-up when he fainted out on the pitch," confirmed Sam Allardyce the Bolton manager. "We don't know if it is anything to do with what has happened to him in the past ...we will only discover that later when he has been monitored.

"He had completed a fitness test earlier this morning because he had a slight calf strain and would have started but for that. We'll keep an eye on him."

Fadiga's team-mates shook off their obvious concerns to start brightly, forcing a 27th minute lead when Ledley King inadvertently deflected Fernando Hierro's free-kick into his own goal. That was to be only the start of the dramatic swings in the game and Defoe levelled two minutes before the break when he expertly turned and shot past Kevin Poole, the Bolton goalkeeper, from the edge of the area.

Home advantage was restored midway through the first half when Bunjevcevic impeded Henrik Pedersen at a corner, allowing Bolton's inspirational captain, Jay Jay Okocha, to finish emphatically from the spot. That should have been that, but Bolton went to sleep, allowed Bunjevcevic to redeem himself from Robbie Keane's corner.

Already down, Bolton suffered further as Michael Brown and then Defoe opened a crucial two-goal lead in the first period of added time. Les Ferdinand halved the arrears against his former club but Bolton were denied by the excellence of the Spurs goalkeeper, Kasey Keller.

Bolton Wanderers (4-1-3-2): Poole; Hunt, Cesar, Ben Haim, Gardner; Hierro; Nolan (Giannakopoulos, 70), Okocha, Pedersen; Davies (Ferdinand, 82), Diouf. Substitutes not used: Jaaskelainen (gk), Barness, Kaku.

Tottenham Hotspur (4-4-2): Keller; Naybet, King, Pamarot, Bunjevcevic; Davies (Brown, 77), Davis, Pedro Mendes, Ziegler; Defoe, Kanouté (Keane, 62). Substitutes not used: Fulop (gk), Carrick, Jackson.

Referee: M Dean (Wirral)

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