On an afternoon where set-peices proved costly, Kevin Davies’ late goal put a dampener on Tottenham’s second half comeback.
With the recent news that Jermain Defoe has suffered a foot injury, Harry Redknapp opted for one striker. Palacios made his debut, as did Pascal Chimbonda off the bench.
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Tottenham showed only glimpses of coninuing their form from Tuesday night, although David Bentley did manage to test the Trotters ‘keeper with a left-footed strike. There weren’t many more chances from the away side to follow, as Bolton were beginning to look the better of the two sides early on, and an unnecessary foul comitted by Wilson Palacios gave Gary Megson’s side an early oppertunity to test Carlo Cudicini. They did more than that, and with Spurs failing to defend the free-kick properly, new signing Sebastien Puygrenier rose about a meter above any Tottenham defender to head past the Italian.
Harry Redknapp made a double change at the interval, signaling the introduction of Jermaine Jenas and Darren Bent. Although the substitutions meant two up front, and the pair looked a lot livelier than their team-mates, the Lilywhites never really showed their creative streak, and remained largely uninspired. And it was yet another needless free-kick, just after the hour mark, that led to Bolton’s second. The delivery was cleared, but not dealt with, as the ball came straight back into the danger zone, falling at the feet of Kevin Davies who drilled past Cudicini. The Spurs ‘keeper maybe could have done better.
Not long after the Wanderers extended their lead, Jussi Jaaskelainen spilled a shot and Darren Bent was first to latch onto the rebound to slot home. It was a glimmer of hope for the capital club, and it turned into something more two minutes later. Debuton Palacios drilled a shot at the Bolton goalkeeper, who once again couldn’t hold onto it, and Bent was there again to put through Jaaskelainen’s legs.
It looked as if Tottenham were going to snatch a draw from within the jaws of improbability, but this time it was a corner they failed to defend. Kevin Davies was rose highest, and diverted the ball towards goal. It was a low header, straight to the feet of David Bentley on the near post, but he SOMEHOW couldn’t deal with it, and the ball found a way into the net. Spurs then went on to dominate the last three minutes, but it wasn’t enough.
Bolton boss Gary Megson:
“When we were pegged back to 2-2, I didn’t think the game at that stage was a drawn game, I thought we much better than they were and a lot more positive – they’ve got some quality players but I felt we deserved our lead.
“Thankfully, though, we’ve got Matty Taylor’s fantastic deliveries and Kevin Davies’s heading ability and that’s pulled us through.
“As for any transfer activity – the Miguel Veloso deal is not going to happen. We don’t want to run a fool’s errand, and that looks a bridge too far.
“But we’ve got two bids in at the moment – one for a Premier League player and one Championship player – and I would expect some business to happen over the next couple of days.”
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp:
“That’s the last four away games in which we’ve dominated proceedings and then gifted the opposition – and these are teams that are around us at the bottom end of the table – a winner two or three minutes from time.
“Sitting there with five minutes to go I wouldn’t have taken a draw because we were pummelling them and there was only one team who I thought would win it and that was us. But we’ve thrown it away again.
“As far as transfers go, no-one will be leaving this club in the next few days, I’ll tell you that, because we can’t afford for anybody to leave. But I definitely think we need one or two more players – strong players – to come in, so if something can be done, we’ll do it.
“And as for Darren Bent – he has absolutely nothing to prove to me, I know he’s a good player. He was excellent today, has 14 goals for the season, and we need him here – especially with Jermain Defoe out with what looks a nasty injury.”
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