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Venue: Reebok Stadium, Bolton
Premier League
 Sunday 25 October 2009; 1:30pm
BOLTON
3-2
 EVERTON
Lee (17'), Cahill (23'), Klasnic (85')
Half Time: 2-1
Saha (29'), Fellaini (56')
Attendance: 21,547
Fixture 9
Referee: Phil Dowd

Match Summary

With Bilyaletdinov and Yakubu added to ever-increasing list of injured players, and Neill and Heitinga eligible to come  into the side, it was time for Lucas Neill's full debut, the only other decision for David Moyes was to drop Coleman to the bench and start Saha with Jo up front, although Jo is more likely to play a wide right role.

Everton lived very dangerously in the first 5 mins, giving Bolton two easy chances to open the scoring, free headers for ___ and Davies.  By 10 mins, though, Everton had looked a little better, Jo getting a shot off and winning a corner that Gosling delivered well.

 On 17 mins, Rodwell gave the ball away, Bolton attacked down the right, the ball was cut back past Hibbert, and Lee Chung Yong found it easy to slot the ball past Howard.

Everton responded with a lively series of attacking moves, Saha beating two and getting the ball in to Gosling, Hibbert crossing well for Saha to head wide. Jo floating one onto the top of the bar. But some decisions by Alan Wiley were annoying Moyes , who was spoken to by the referee, and immediately, from a deep free kick Gary Cahill headed the ball with ease past Howard for the second.

It was a stunner but to give credit, Everton did not flag, despite Heitinga getting flattened by Davies, who was booked, And finally Everton responded, an absolutely superb shot from outside the area, a fantastic goal, top corner. 

The goal stabilized Everton to an extent, and they played out the rest of the half with less incident.

It was a better start for the Blues in the second half, and after 10 mins, Fellaini did very well in the Bolton Area, twisted, turned, and then rifled a brilliant shot into the roof of the net. Excellent finish out of nothing.

Gary Cahill was booked for bringing down Saha.

Tim Cahill slid in with Zak Knight and came off the worst, clutching his knee in some pain.

Fellaini picked up his third card of the season, getting a little to physical with Cohen.

Fellaini set up Gosling with a great opportunity, despite getting pulled back by Samuel, and should have shot early but took too long and lost a glorious opportunity to put Everton ahead.

Heitinga had a problem with 11 mins to go, forcing a substitution, Coleman coming on at right back, with Neill moving inside. Coleman immediately clashed with Klasnic.

And it was Klasnic who scored for Bolton with 5 mins let, very much against the run of play, a nothing ball that Everton should have had covered.

It was a cruel finish to a lively second-half comeback by the Blues who effectively stifled the home side for much of the second half, but a defeat was always on the cards given the crazy injury list at Finch Farm.

Michael Kenrick

Match Preview

It goes without saying that Evertonians were hoping that the horrible 6-1 opening-day reverse to Arsenal would be the last of such painful results this season but the Europa League disaster in Lisbon now calls on David Moyes's players to dust themselves up again and regroup as the fixtures come thick and fast.

Of course, wounded pride and damaged morale is only on of the manager's headaches. The growing list if injuries to key players, particularly in midfield, is severely hampering his side's ability to win matches of late. A depressing lack of pace and invention in midfield in each of the last three games has highlighted the impact of the loss of Mikel Arteta and Steven Pienaar.

With neither player available this weekend, Moyes's luck worsened on Thursday when Diniyar Bilyaletdinov pulled up with an injury against Benfica and joined Leon Osman, another creative outlet, on the list of players doubtful for the trip to Bolton. That list also includes Joseph Yobo and Leighton Baines who missed Thursday's defeat with head and calf injuries respectively, though Moyes will be hoping that at least one of that quartet will be passed fit.

Of course, one of the last places you want to go when you're battered and bruised is the Reebok Stadium to face a physical Wanderers. It will be incumbent on the likes of Tim Cahill and Marouane Fellaini, who scored a late winner in this fixture last season, to win the midfield battle and, depending on the fitness of Yobo, they might be aided by Johnny Heitinga who is likely to take the Phil Neville holding role in the middle.

If Yobo is kept out, Heitinga would deputise for him in central defence with either Tony Hibbert or Lucas Neill playing fullback but if the Nigerian does recover in time, then the Dutchman would likely be pitched into midfield. If Baines is ruled out, either Neill or Hibbert could be asked to fill in on the left.

Up front, if he goes 4-5-1, Moyes will hopefully opt for his most potent asset in the form of Louis Saha after keeping him on the bench for the first hour in Lisbon. Yakubu is still short of sharpness and, quite apart from his poor away record in the Premier League, Jô has struggled for form so far this season.


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Bolton have, somewhat predictably, struggled in the League so far but have been fairly resolute on their own turf. Since losing their opening game at home to Sunderland, only Liverpool have taken all three points from the Reebok Stadium this season and even then it was with a late goal in a five-goal thriller. More recently, the Trotters have beaten West Ham convincingly and drawn 2-2 with Tottenham.

Gary Megson is without striker Jan Elmander but could be able to call on Any O'Brien who has recovered from a groin injury.

As well as being a physical test, this will be a challenge to Everton's resolve and, after shipping five goals in the Estadio da Luz, their ability to rediscover some defensive solidity with the increased number of reserve options now open to Moyes in that part of the pitch.

The chief objective must be to avoid defeat and keep this unbeaten run in the League going.

Lyndon Lloyd

Matchday Stats

May appear here later

Steve Flanagan

Match Report

May appear here later

Author

* Unfortunately, we cannot control other sites' content policies and therefore cannot guarantee that links to external reports will remain active.

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BOLTON (4-4-2)
  Jaaskelainen
  Samuel :61'
  Cahill :57'
  Knight
  Ricketts
  Muamba
  Taylor
  Gardner (64' Klasnic)
  Cohen
  Lee
  Davies :31'
  Subs not used
  Al Habsi
  Robinson
  Steinsson
  Basham,
  O'Brien
  Davies

EVERTON (4-5-1)
  Howard
  Neill
  Heitinga (80' Coleman)
  Distin
  Hibbert
  Rodwell
  Cahill
  Fellaini :63'
  Gosling
  J
  Saha
  Subs not used
  Nash
  Duffy
  Wallace
  Baxter
  Akpan
  Agard
  Unavailable
  Anichebe (injured)
  Arteta (injured)
  Jagielka (injured)
  Neville (injured)
  Osman (injured)
  Pienaar (injured)
  Vaughan (injured)
  Yobo (injured)
  Baines (injured)
  Yakubu (injured)
  Bilyaletdinov (injured)
  Jutkiewicz (loan)
  Ruddy (loan)

Premier League Scores
Saturday 24 October 2009
Birmingham 2-1 Sunderland
Burnley 1-3 Wigan
Chelsea 5-0 Blackburn
Hull 0-0 Portsmouth
Tottenham 0-1 Stoke
Wolves 1-1 Aston Villa
Sunday 25 October 2009
Bolton 3-2 Everton
Liverpool 2-0 Man Utd
Man City 2-2 Fulham
West Ham 2-2 Arsenal

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