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Match Report: Bolton Wanderers 1 - 2 Aston Villa (Bolton Fan's Perspective)

By Rob
Saturday 10th December 2011
Aston Villa heaped fresh misery upon Bolton Wanderers' woeful start to the season, as the visitors became the latest team to walk away from the Reebok Stadium with an easy three points. First half goals from Mark Albrighton and Stilian Petrov were enough to secure the points for the visitors, despite a second-half consolation goal from Wanderers striker Ivan Klasnic. The result sees Bolton rock bottom of the Premier League and with yet another performance totally lacking goal threat and cutting edge, relegation is now a very real threat for the Trotters.

Bolton began the game brightly, but never really looked like getting their season back on track as Villa's well organised defence had more than enough about it to deal with the hosts' efforts. The first 20 minutes of the game was very much end to end, with Villa looking the more clinical of the sides and quickly claimed ownership of the match. Petrov wasted a great opportunity to open the scoring on 11 minutes, missing from 8 yards out having been fed by Charles N'Zogbia's cutback, before striker Darren Bent also missed from close in 9 minutes later, only denied by an excellent stop from Jussi Jaaskalainen.

But Villa fans didn't have too much longer to wait before their side finally put the ball in the back of the net. On 33 minutes, Chris Herd picked up the ball in space in the midfield, moved the ball on to Gabby Agbonlahor. The striker's low cross was dummied by Bent, allowing winger Albrighton to slot in the opener from close distance.

The goal helped Villa to settle and the visitors took a stranglehold on the game, quickly going close to a second from a Richard Dunne header and threatening to break through Bolton's wide open defence with alarming regularity.

The sustained Villa pressure finally told as Petrov doubled the lead just six minutes after the opening goal. Picking up the ball 25 yards from Jaaskalainen's goal, Petrov tried his luck from distance and a cruel deflection off former Villa defender Gary Cahill saw the ball divert into the back of the net.

Bolton responded to the double in their deficit and should have got back into the game before the half-time break but Gary Cahill's header was excellently denied by keeper Brad Guzan and Klasnic wasted a great opportunity, sending his header high into the crowd.

The hosts must have been given a half-time rocketing for their dire first half performance by manager Owen Coyle, as they came out for the second half all guns blazing. They eventually did clamber a way back into the match as Klasnic halved the deficit on 55 minutes. Sanli Tuncay, bizarrely selected in a midfield position, whipped in a corner and Klasnic reacted quickest in a packed penalty box to slot home.

Despite the home crowd getting behind the team Wanderers were unable to muster an equaliser allowing Villa to cruise to a 2-1 victory. Bolton look a side totally bereft of belief and creativity and the loss of Klasnic to injury with 12 minutes to go saw all hope of getting an unlikely equaliser go with him, as his replacement David Ngog simply isn't a real goal threat.

The result leaves Bolton pinned to the bottom of the league with just 9 points from 15 matches, while it provides Villa boss Alex McLeish some welcome relief to those fans calling for his head since his appointment at Villa Park.

Bolton Wanderers: Jaaskalainen; Robinson, Cahill, Knight, Boyata; Eagles, M Davies, Pratley, Tuncay (Kakuta 71), K Davies, Klasnic (Ngog 78). Unused subs: Bogdan, Steinsson, Muamba, Petrov, O'Halloran

Goals: Ivan Klasnic (55)

Aston Villa: Guzan; Hutton, Dunne, Collins, Warnock; Albrighton, Petrov, Herd, N'Zogbia; Bent (Heskey 81), Agbonlahor. Unused subs: Marshall, Clark, Bannan, Ireland, Delfouneso, Weimann

Goals: Mark Albrighton (33), Stilian Petrov (39)

Total articles: 69

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