van der Vaart ‘6
55′ D. Sturridge
Barclays Premier League – Sat 5th Feb – KO 15:00 – Ground: White Hart Lane
Niko Kranjcar scored a last-gasp winner as Spurs beat Bolton Wanderers 2-1 at White Hart Lane.
Van der Vaart put Spurs ahead after just six minutes when Kevin Davies made contact with the ball with his hand while on the ground. The Dutchman stepped up to send a clam penalty beyond Jussi Jaaskelainen.
He was then presented with the chance to make it 2-0 and thought he had done so after Aaron Lennon was brought down in the area by Sam Ricketts.
He hit the net, but referee Mark Clattenburg ruled that there had been encroachment from Wilson Palacios and ordered a retake. This time, somewhat surprisingly, Van der Vaart sent it wide.
Sturridge was making his first start for Bolton after scoring in his debut as a sub against Wolves in midweek. However, it was the on-loan Chelsea man’s fellow striker Johan Elmander who had a great chance to drag his side level on 20 minutes. But the Swede headed against the bar from a teasing Matthew Taylor cross.
Van der Vaart then picked out Jermain Defoe with another Beckhamesque cross, but the offside flag rose as the striker headed the ball home and their lead remained at 1-0 at the break.
It did not last long after the restart though. Bolton’s new profile as a flowing attacking side came to the fore as Sturridge found a leveller ten minutes in. Mark Davies confidently broke through the Tottenham back line and fed Sturridge, who beat Heurelho Gomes with a left-footed effort. The Brazilian goalkeeper was culpable, but Owen Coyle’s men were worth parity.
Gary Cahill then wanted a Bolton penalty after he felt he had been upended in the Spurs box by Sours sub Steven Piennar. Clattenburg gave nothing this time, actually scracth that – Cahill received a yellow card for diving.
Spurs frantically chased a winner for the remainder as Jermaine Jenas sent a free-kick against Jaaskelainen’s upright and the Finn then made a great close-range save when Pienaar threatened to make it 2-1.
They could not get into dangerous areas enough though and it looked like they would have to settle for a point, with the score still at 1-1 with two minutes of stoppage-time played.
But there was time! Roman Pavlyuchenko laid the ball off to Kranjcar 30 yards out and the Croatian, on for Palacios, cut past Zat Knight and fired an unstoppable effort to the roof of the Bolton net.