Tuesday 28 February 2017

Bolton gift-wrap three points

Two glaring individual errors, leading to two goals in two minutes, deepened Bolton's relegation woes as Newcastle ended their barren run with victory at the Reebok.

Hatem Ben Arfa and Demba Ba were the men who took advantage of the blunders and, although Bolton had the bulk of possession before and after the goals, they did not put enough pressure on a defence expertly marshalled by Fabricio Coloccini.

With six Premier League games without a win and their early-season unbeaten run a fading memory, Newcastle did not arrive on form. Another problem looms for them too as Ba, their leading scorer, will be on African Nations Cup duty for most of January.

Bolton boss Owen Coyle made what he thought was a positive move by bringing on Chris Eagles for holding midfielder Fabrice Muamba after 66 minutes. Within three minutes, however, Eagles gave the ball away cheaply and Ryan Taylor whipped it in for Ben Arfa's first goal since his career-threatening broken leg last season.

The second, on the 71st minute, was just as bad. This time Paul Robinson presented the ball to Gabriel Obertan and Ba put his cross into the top corner for his 14th goal of the season, with the help of a deflection off Gary Cahill.

Irish Independent

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