Spurs claim record-equalling sixth successive win
Tottenham 3 Bolton 0
Saturday 03 December 2011
Tottenham claimed a club record-equalling sixth successive
Barclays Premier League win as they eased to victory over 10-man Bolton
at White Hart Lane.
Gareth Bale tapped home a Luka Modric corner to open the scoring after six minutes and then removed his boot in front of the Bolton fans as a tribute to former Wales manager and Trotters player Gary Speed.
Gary Cahill was given a very harsh red card for a foul on Scott Parker in the 17th minute and Spurs dominated from then on, adding second-half goals from Jermain Defoe and Aaron Lennon to seal the comfortable win which stretched their unbeaten run to 11 matches.
The result further enhanced Tottenham's chances of claiming a top-four place and kept them within seven points of leaders Manchester City, who have played one more game.
Bolton had Jussi Jaaskelainen to thank for preventing the home side from running riot, and the likes of Bale, Modric and Parker excelled.
On paper, the match seemed a home banker, with Tottenham having dropped just two points in their previous 10 matches.
Bolton, on the other hand, had won only one match in their last five and were languishing deep inside the relegation zone.
After a minute's applause for former Trotters player Speed, Spurs showed their class from the start and took just six minutes to score.
Zat Knight's sliding block on Aaron Lennon deflected the winger's shot behind and Bale sneaked ahead of his marker to tap home at the near post from the resulting corner.
The winger took his left boot, which had a tribute to his former national manager stitched into it, aloft in front of the away fans.
Bolton's afternoon went from bad to worse in the 18th minute when Cahill was sent off for a foul on Parker.
Parker dispossessed Cahill on the halfway line and ran 20 yards down the left flank before the defender clattered into him from behind.
Referee Stuart Attwell ruled that Parker was in a goalscoring position, and gave the centre-half a straight red despite Bolton having plenty of cover in the box.
Owen Coyle was furious at the decision, and his side looked even more vulnerable with 10 men.
Jaaskelainen pulled off a brilliant save to deny Defoe from eight yards before a rare Bolton attack saw Brad Friedel tip over Chris Eagles' deflected effort.
Spurs were dominating the game and would have gone further ahead, but they were wasteful in front of goal, and Jaaskelainen was playing brilliantly.
The stopper blocked Emmanuel Adebayor's drive before Bale blazed over.
Jaaskelainen then pulled off a brilliant double save to deny Bale and Defoe in quick succession before Adebayor fired wide after getting on the end of a 50-yard inch-perfect pass from the Welshman.
Harry Redknapp threw his hands in the air in frustration five minutes before half-time when Lennon squared to Adebayor, but Jaaskelainen once again pulled off a good save to keep the score 1-0.
Bale flashed a ball across the box in injury time, but Defoe missed the tap-in by a matter of centimetres.
Trotters boss Coyle made his anger at Cahill's dismissal clear when he marched across the pitch to remonstrate with the referee after he had blown the whistle for half-time.
Modric would have made it 2-0 three minutes after the break had Defoe not got in the way of the Croatian's goalbound shot when Jaaskelainen was stranded.
Spurs hit Bolton on the counter-attack in the 50th minute to make it 2-0. Lennon cut in from the right flank and jinked past two defenders before firing past Jaaskelainen.
Tottenham should have had a penalty five minutes later when Kevin Davies pushed over Benoit Assou-Ekotto in the Bolton box, but Attwell waved play on.
Moments later it was 3-0 thanks to Defoe's eighth of the season. Bale flicked on Modric's corner at the near post and the England striker beat his marker to score from four yards.
Modric then went close with a blistering 20-yard shot which Jaaskelainen tipped over.
The Finn was on hand soon after to save from Parker and Bale as Spurs continued to lay siege to the away goal in search of a fourth.
Modric curled a shot just wide before Coyle grimaced at the sight of Rafael van der Vaart coming on for Lennon with 17 minutes left.
The Dutchman made an instant impact, playing in Defoe, whose shot smacked against the post before bouncing out to safety.
Parker, yesterday named Premier League player of the month, received a huge standing ovation when he came off for Jake Livermore with five minutes left as Spurs took their foot off the accelerator knowing the game was already well won.
Modric blocked Zat Knight's effort with 10 minutes left, but Bolton's push for a consolation petered out without success.
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