BOLTON WANDERERS 5 STOKE CITY FC 0
Stoke were a goal down within 2 minutes, following a blunder by keeper Begovic. The ball was played back to him by Whelan, and he caught it. Ref Howard Webb awarded a freekick. Instead of holding onto the ball while the Stoke defence reformed, it was released early by the keeper for Klasnic to feed Davies who took the opportunity to slip the ball into the net for the opener.
Things went from bad to worse when Begovic rushed a clearance. The ball went out to Eagles on the Bolton left. He took a touch and drove the ball straight back into the Stoke net for Bolton’s second.Talk about giving the opposition confidence when its down....previous to this Bolton had lost 13 of the 16 matches they had played since we beat them in the FA Cup semi-final. Throughout the half Stoke once again seemed strangely lethargic.
At the beginning of the second half we livened up for a while. But inevitably, chasing the game, we left ourselves open. On 60 mins a ball down the Bolton left was played into Klasnic in the centre. He drove the ball home to Begovic’s left..Eagles was next in line on 72 minutes.A long ball down the centre set him free one on one with our keeper.He comfortably finished, flicking the ball over our keeper’s despairing dive. But that was not the end of it. Klasnic made it 5-0 nodding the ball from close range past Begovic into our net.
What is really worrying the ease with which Bolton turned our defence inside out today. The Woodgate and Upson pairing is not a patch on that of Shawcross Huth last season. For several matches now the solidity we’ve been used to in defence has been missing, and the general performance has been disjointed. Teams have been getting behind us, and through us far to frequently. And to those Stokies who were beginning to think Ryan Shawcross was NOT INdispensable, I would say think again.We definitely miss him, whether he appears to be playing well or not.
Bolton’s first home victory of the season.It had to be us didn’t it!!Wembley revenge? ...well maybe not.That was a special day!