FA Cup Quarter-Final Replay
Tottenham 3-1 Bolton Wanderers



Ryan Nelsen headed in the opening goal- his first goal since joining Spurs in January



By Adam Higgins
Chief Football Editor at White Hart Lane


Tottenham safely reached the FA Cup semi-finals as Bolton were caught up in the emotion of returning to White Hart Lane for the first time since Fabrice Muamba's cardiac arrest in the rearranged tie.

The quarter-final match itself was originally played ten days ago, but the game had to be abandoned on 41 minutes after 23-year old Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba collapsed on the pitch suffering from a cardiac arrest. The re-arranged fixture gave both sets of players the opportunity to play out an emotional and deeply poignant game, with players from both sides donning t-shirts and partaking in a minute's applause in support of Muamba prior to kick-off.

Despite the final score, the stand-out performance was from Bolton goalkeeper Adam Bogdan as time and time again he thwarted a rampant home side with a string of superb stops. The deadlock was finally broken in the 74th minute when Ryan Nelsen nodded in a Rafael Van Der Vaart corner, before Gareth Bale and Louis Saha put the game beyond doubt, either side of a Kevin Davies consolation.

Captain Ledley King returned to the starting eleven to play alongside Nelsen at the heart of the defence, in place of rested duo William Gallas and Younes Kaboul. There were also starts handed to Carlo Cudicini and Jake Livermore, who came in for Brad Friedel and Sandro, but Jermaine Defoe had to settle for a place on the bench, with Emmanuel Adebayor preferred up front.

Bolton manager Owen Coyle also reshuffled his pack from the side that beat Blackburn 2-1 at the weekend. Zat Knight, Marcos Alonso and Dedryck Boyata all earned recalls while Ivan Klasnic and Chris Eagles replaced David N'Gog and Martin Petrov in the attacking areas.



Spurs have now won four of the last six meetings in all competitions with Bolton Wanderers.


Spurs started the game strongly, and continued in that fashion throughout, with their first chance coming after a mere five minutes when Luka Modric found Bale on the edge of the area, and the Welshman didn't need an invitation to shoot, stinging Bodgan's fingertips with a testing drive.

Some neat interplay between Adebayor and Modric released the striker as he burst into the box wide on the left, but after riding a challenge from Boyata, his toe-poked effort failed to trouble an increasingly-busy Bogdan with just 15 minutes gone on the clock.

Darren Pratley was stretchered off with a knee injury after 25 minutes, after fouling Bale as he surged past him just inside the Bolton half. To quite literally add insult to injury, referee Howard Webb booked the Bolton midfielder as he was carried off the pitch, with Tim Ream coming on in his place.

Some more patient build-up play by the ever-dominant home side saw Bale strike fractionally wide from the edge of the box after some good work by both Beniot Assou-Ekotto and Van der Vaart, who laid the ball on a plate for the strike.
Coyle's side survived unscathed until the break, though, despite being out-played for the majority of the half by a dominant Tottenham side.

Spurs began the second half much in the same way that they went about the first. Bogan was, for the first time in the evening, well beaten by Van der Vaart’s freekick just three minutes into the second period as the Dutchman saw it clang off the bar.



Spurs lost 2-0 to Redknapp's former club Portsmouth two years ago in their last FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.


Around the hour mark the home crowd began to voice their frustration as their side were thwarted time and time again.

With the Bolton players beginning to sense an unlikely upset, Mark Davies had a deflected effort from the edge of the area loop over Cudicini's head and onto the roof of the net.

Livermore continued Tottenham's second half shoot-on-sight policy, with an effort that flew just wide. Adebayor was then put through one-on-one yet again by a cutting Modric through ball, but his high effort at the near post was tipped behind by Bogdan.

Bolton had their first shot on target in the 70th minute, with Ivan Klasnic finding the arms of Cudicini at his near post after the Tottenham back four failed to deal with a routine ball forward.

What promised to be a goalkeeping display that lived long in the memory for the Bolton man, was shattered in the 74th minute when Nelsen nodded in just inside the six-yard box from Van der Vaart's corner after towering above his marker at the back post.

Bolton had a chance blocked through Ryo Miyaichi straight from kick-off, but with the away side stretched, Bale galloped onto Defoe's through ball to curl a strike into the bottom right-hand corner after cutting back onto his favoured left foot in the 77th minute.

Despite continuing to exert their dominance over the visitors with a number of half-chances, it was Bolton that struck back when substitute Davies poked in at the far post after an excellent turn and cross by Ivan Klasnic in the 89th minute.

The last-minute drama wasn't to end there, however, as Saha popped up with perhaps the game's best goal in the final minute of injury-time, when the Frenchman fired past Bogdan with a crisp right-footed drive from 25 yards to seal an FA Cup semi-final spot for Tottenham against Chelsea- whom they played in the Premier League on Saturday in a massive clash for fourth place at Stamford Bridge drawing 0-0.


Tuesday 27th March

FA Cup Quarter-Final Replay

White Hart Lane


Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 Bolton Wanderers                         KO 7:30pm              (HT 0-0)

Nelsen 74                    K Davies 90
Bale 77
Saha 90


Tottenham:  23 Cudicini- 7/10, 28 Walker- 6.5/10, 26 King (C)- 6.5/10, 33 Nelsen- 8.5/10, 32 Assou-Ekotto- 7/10, 3 Bale- 8/10, 8 Parker- 7/10 (Defoe 71- 3.5/10), 29 Livermore- 8/10, 14 Modric- 7.5/10, 11 Van der Vaart- 6.5/10 (Rose 80- 1.5/10), 10 Adebayor- 6.5/10 (Saha 79- 2/10).

Subs not used:  24 Friedel, 4 Kaboul, 21 Kranjcar, 17 Dos Santos

Booked:     None


Bolton:  1 Bogdan- 8.5/10, 18 Ricketts- 7/10, 12 Knight- 6.5/10, 25 Boyata- 6/10 (K Davies 76- 2.5/10), 3 Marcos Alonso- 6.5/10, 7 Eagles- 6.5/10, 16 M Davies- 7/10, 19 Reo-Coker (C)- 7/10, 21 Pratley- 2.5/10 (Ream 28- 5.5/10), 30 Miyaichi- 7/10 (Tuncay 79- 1.5/10), 17 Klasnic- 7/10.

Subs not used:  22 Jaaskelainen, 37 Vela, 10 Petrov, 24 Ngog 

Booked:     Pratley (27)


My Man of the Match:     Ryan Nelsen (Tottenham)- Rating 8.5/10

My Poorest Performer of the Match:     Darren Pratley (Bolton Wanderers)- Rating 2.5/10 



Referee: Howard Webb (South Yorkshire)- 9.5/10
Attendance: 30,718 



Match Facts

Possession: Tottenham- 54%               Bolton- 46%

Shots: Tottenham- 29                 Bolton- 6

Shots on target: Tottenham- 19              Bolton- 4

Shots off target: Tottenham- 10              Bolton- 2

Corners: Tottenham- 14                  Bolton- 3

Fouls: Tottenham- 5                  Bolton- 10

Offside: Tottenham- 0                 Bolton- 0

Assists: Tottenham- Van der Vaart, Defoe, Assou-Ekotto             Bolton- Klasnic



Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp

"Overall I'm looking forward to what will be a fab weekend with two fantastic games of football in the semi-final. A Merseyside derby and a London derby. As far as this game went, it was emotional like the first match with all our thoughts with Fabrice (Muamba). But we were waiting really for the first goal to go in, we created a lot of chances, found Adam Bogdan in good form in the goal for Bolton and they made it difficult up until the 73rd minute. Ryan (Nelsen) has been a good buy for us with masses of experience and a brave central defender whose not afraid to put his head in where it hurts. He got his first goal and I am delighted for him. Gareth (Bale) has had a good night again roaming down the left and Louis (Saha) came on and scored a peach late on so we have lots to take from it in terms of positives. We give our best to Bolton and Owen (Coyle) who has handled everything better than the reasonable man- we hope they can stay in the Premier League. We have got to look at the massive match at Chelsea on Saturday now- we've not got long to prepare for it. But the Chelsea semi-final is something we are looking forward to already."

Click here to hear the full thoughts of Spurs boss Harry Redknapp



Bolton manager Owen Coyle

"It was an emotional night for all of us but in terms of the football side of things of course it is disappointing to lose the game and be out of the FA Cup. What I have to say is the boys have showed great spirit like against Blackburn on Saturday and gave everything they had under difficult circumstances knowing that a good friend and colleague remains in hospital with a serious condiition. Tottenham deserved the win there's no doubt about that and if it wasn't for Adam (Bogdan) it could have been more. I thought he was fantastic tonight. I thought in general we went about our business well, we could have passed the ball better at times but when you are playing against the quality that Spurs possess then that is always going to be a hard thing. The lads didn't drop their heads when going 2-0 down which was very pleasing and got themselves back in the game. We conducted ourselves in a manner which befits pride and we know that we have gone out of the cup with our pride intact. The injury to Darren Pratley we are hoping isn't too serious, he has been taken to hospital but it really is superficial."

Click here to hear the full thoughts of Trotters boss Owen Coyle


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