Saturday, May 1, 2010

Tom Huddlestone's brilliant scored in pole position to take fourth place.

- Huddlestone 38


**TOM HUDDLESTONE'S screamer kept Tottenham in pole position to take fourth place.

Spurs stay a point clear in the last Champions League spot after Huddlestone's goal saw off Bolton. The midfield man lashed past Jussi Jaaskelainen in the 38th minute.

And Harry Redknapp's men stay ahead Manchester City despite their win over fellow hopefuls Aston Villa. Spurs' wing kings Gareth Bale and David Bentley, preferred to Aaron Lennon on the right, hit their straps early on. And Tottenham's first chance came when Bentley freed Luka Modric, who fired a poor shot wide.

Younes Kaboul, filling in for Vedran Corluka at right back, then skinned Matt Taylor before crossing to Roman Pavlyuchenko. But the Russian hotshot fluffed his lines and mis-kicked his shot in the box.

In the 16th minute, White Hart Lane erupted — after a goal 200 miles away.

The Spurs fans roared their approval when news filtered through that Villa had gone 1-0 up at Eastlands.

After weathering the early storm, Bolton had a brief spell of possession and Heurelho Gomes did well to punch away a dangerous inswinging corner from Taylor. A series of booming tackles angered the crowd as Bolton's physical approach roughed up the hosts. Gretar Steinsson then shot wide before Vladimir Weiss was cut out by Ledley King in the box.

The Trotters defence foolishly backed off Bale on the half hour as he cut inside and leathered a dangerous shot.

Huddlestone's brilliant strike broke the deadlock seven minutes before half time. Benoit Assou-Ekotto cut inside from the left, laid the ball off and the midfield star gunned into the top corner. Modric found Jermain Defoe in the box after the break, but the hitman saw his shot blocked by Fabrice Muamba.

At the other end, two corners put Spurs under pressure but Gomes came out to clear. Taylor went into ref Chris Foy's book on the hour before Huddlestone fired a 25-yarder inches wide. Bolton's defence then backed off Defoe, who sent a curling shot just wide of the post. And Pavlyuchenko nodded a free-header wide as Spurs set up shop in the Trotters half.

Peter Crouch then replaced Defoe before Lennon received a standing ovation as he came on for Bentley to make only his second appearance of 2010. Jack Wilshere, on loan from Spurs' rivals Arsenal, threatened with a 25-yard effort but Michael Dawson courageously blocked.

And Gomes pulled off a stunning save to deny the youngster from the edge of the box with four minutes left. Crouch almost grabbed a second in the dying minutes after beating three Bolton defenders before forcing Jaaskelainen into a diving save.

Wilshere received a booking for hacking down Kaboul in added time before substitute Eidur Gudjohnsen fired wide at the death.


Bolton Wanderers: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Cahill, Knight, Robinson, Weiss, Muamba, Wilshere, Taylor, Kevin Davies, Klasnic. Subs: Al Habsi, Samuel, Elmander, Gardner, Mark Davies, Ricketts, Lee

Tottenham Hotspur: Gomes, Kaboul, Dawson, King, Assou-Ekotto, Bentley, Huddlestone, Modric, Bale, Pavlyuchenko, Defoe. Subs: Alnwick, Lennon, Jenas, Palacios, Crouch, Gudjohnsen, Bassong


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