Tottenham Hotspur vs. Bolton Wanderers  3 - 1



Van der Vaart relieved by Bolton win

28 March 2012 18:01

Rafael van der Vaart was relieved to see Tottenham take the lead in their FA Cup quarter-final clash against Bolton Wanderers on Tuesday.

Spurs emerged comfortable 3-1 winners from the match at White Hart Lane, but had been held goalless throughout the first 45 minutes.

Eventually, a Van der Vaart corner was met by the head of centre-back Ryan Nelson for the opening goal on 74 minutes, before the home side pushed on to book their place in the last four.

It was Tottenham's first win from four matches in all competitions, and only their second in eight fixtures.

"I spoke to the other guys and I can't remember being so happy to score a first goal, and it wasn't even me that scored," Van der Vaart told Spurs' official website.

"At certain points you are thinking 'please, go in', but after the first goal you saw the relief and that we were going to win the game.

"It was a great victory and we played some fantastic football, how a Tottenham team is supposed to play."

Netherlands international Van der Vaart also spoke of his delight at reaching the semi-finals, giving Spurs the opportunity to play at Wembley, where they will take on Chelsea.

"It's always been a dream to play at Wembley and now we are there," he said.

"It's a great semi-final against Chelsea, plus Liverpool against Everton, so for Spurs fans and football fans everywhere it will be a fantastic day."


FA Cup: Tottenham 3 Bolton 1

27 March 2012 23:26

Tottenham booked their spot in the last four of the FA Cup with a dominant 3-1 win over Bolton in Tuesday's re-arranged quarter-final clash.

The match was originally first played 10 days ago, but had to be abandoned after 23-year old Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba collapsed on the White Hart Lane pitch after suffering from a cardiac arrest.

The re-arranged fixture gave both sets of players the opportunity to play out an emotional and deeply poignant occasion, with all players donning t-shirts and partaking in a minute's applause in support of Muamba prior to kick-off.

A semi-final tie against Chelsea was the reward for the victors, but both teams had to wait a little longer than previously envisioned, after kick-off was delayed by 15 minutes due to traffic congestion outside the ground.

When the action finally did get underway, Bolton's Adam Bogdan put on a superb display in goals as time and 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 in a crowded penalty area.

Gareth Bale, who remained lively throughout the match, extended their lead just three minutes later after latching onto substitute Jermaine Defoe's through-ball and finishing with aplomb after cutting back onto his left foot.

Bolton, out-played, out-fought and out-thought for much of the match, managed to hit back in the 89th minute through Kevin Davies' tapped finish at the back post after an excellent Ivan Klasnic cross deceived the Tottenham backline.

Substitute Louis Saha scored the final goal of the game in the last minute of injury-time, with an effort from the edge of the area after spinning off his marker Zat Knight.

Bolton will be sweating on a potentially serious knee injury to Darren Pratley, who was stretchered off on 25 minutes after fouling Bale as he surged past him just inside the Bolton half.


FA Cup preview: Reds chase domestic double

17 March 2012 00:48

Liverpool's quest to secure a trophy double this campaign continues on Sunday when they host Stoke City in the FA Cup quarter-finals.

The Reds returned to winning form in the Merseyside derby with Everton on Tuesday, as inspirational captain Steven Gerrard nabbed a hat-trick to move them two points behind sixth-placed Newcastle United in the Premier League.

The win ended a three-game losing streak in the league and gave Kenny Dalglish's side plenty to build on ahead of their date with last season's FA Cup finalists.

Tony Pulis' Stoke are virtually assured of top-flight football next season, with a 14-point buffer on the relegation places allowing the Britannia Stadium outfit to focus on trying to go one better in the FA Cup this term.

Stoke's campaign has seen them avoid Premier League opposition and included wins over Gillingham, Derby and Crawley Town.

All of those fixtures have come away from home and they will once again hit the road to face the Reds in front of their partisan fans at Anfield.

Also on Sunday, Chelsea take on Leicester City at Stamford Bridge, the latter being the only non-Premier League side remaining in the competition.

The Championship side, managed by Nigel Pearson, defeated rivals Birmingham City midweek in a massive confidence boost heading into the away tie.

Chelsea, meanwhile, will look to continue building momentum under interim manager Roberto Di Matteo.

The former West Brom boss will be looking to make his mark in London, and any piece of silverware his side can claim this term will see the Italian firm as a potential permanent boss after season's end.

Elsewhere, Everton host Sunderland at Goodison Park on Saturday, fresh from their trouncing by rivals Liverpool.

David Moyes' men had gone 10 matches unbeaten prior to their loss at Anfield, while Sunderland most recently defeated Liverpool 1-0 in the league.

Martin O'Neill's Sunderland manufactured a 2-0 win over Arsenal in the fifth round, with wins over Middlesbrough and Peterborough preceding that for the North-East club.

Everton's run to the final eight has been their best since they reached the final in 2009, with the club still in contention for its first title since they lifted the prestigious trophy in 1995.

Also on Saturday, Tottenham will host Bolton at White Hart Lane looking to overcome a form slump.

Harry Redknapp's men have lost three straight league games and were forced to a replay to get past League One's Stevenage in the fifth round.

Bolton surpassed Championship side Milwall to reach the final eight and, following league losses to big clubs Chelsea and Manchester City, defeated Queens Park Rangers 2-1.

The Reebok Stadium side are still struggling in the league, sitting just a point above the drop zone.

Owen Coyle's Bolton made the semi-finals in the FA Cup last season before getting thrashed by Stoke.


Van der Vaart dreams of Wembley debut

13 March 2012 16:47

Tottenham midfielder Rafael van der Vaart is desperate to realise his dream of playing at Wembley for the first time.

The 29-year-old was in the Netherlands squad for the friendly against England last month but was forced to pull out with an injury.

The former Real Madrid star has now set his sights on walking out on the famous pitch in the FA Cup semi-final, and is hoping that Spurs can see off quarter-final opponents Bolton without the need of a replay.

He told the club’s official website: "Wembley is a special stadium and because I missed the friendly against England I've never played there."

"It's always difficult in the FA Cup, but we will play at home against Bolton so we'll be strong and we have a good chance of making the semi-finals and playing at Wembley."

Harry Redknapp’s side have already beaten Bolton 3-0 in the Premier League this season, but van der Vaart insisted that this counts for nothing when.

"It won't make a difference on Saturday," he said. "It's a separate game and we have to win, we don't want a replay."

Bolton may be encouraged by Spurs' poor form, after three consecutive Premier League defeats – the latest a 1-0 reverse against Everton on Saturday – all but ended their title challenge and saw rivals Arsenal close to within one point in the table.

Meanwhile, Bolton are enjoying a revival after climbing out of the relegation zone with a 2-1 win over QPR.

Championship table

# Team MP D P
17 38 -11 41
18 38 -6 39
19 38 -23 39
20 38 -13 36
21 38 -19 33
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