Premier League - Lively Bolton beat West Brom
Sun, 26 Dec 17:19:00 2010
Bolton Wanderers recorded a 2-0 win against West Bromwich Albion at the Reebok Stadium that moved them into the Premier League's top six.
Bolton scored with five minutes to go in each half through Matthew Taylor and the impressive Johan Elmander.
The win means Bolton moved on to 29 points - just eight off top spot and enough to be in serious contention for European football at the midway point of the season.
Bolton took the lead with five minutes to go in the first half, when Jussi Jaaskelainen's long ball forward was flicked on by Taylor into the path of Lee Chung-Yong.
The marauding midfielder burst into the penalty area and drew West Brom goalkeeper Scott Carson. The Korean then slipped the ball into the path of Taylor once more who slide the ball under Carson from six yards.
Graeme Dorrans had the game's first real effort after 15 minutes but his shot from 20 yards was straight at Jaaskelainen.
Elmander then squandered a great opportunity when clean through but he blazed over from just inside the penalty area.
Peter Odemwingie then missed West Brom's best chance of the half but he screwed an effort wide from six yards when well placed to score.
Taylor then opened the scoring, but West Brom nearly grabbed an equaliser immediately when Gonzalo Jara's effort was tipped over by Jaaskelainen.
Five minutes after the break West Brom went even closer when Chris Brunt headed against the post.
Somen Tchoyi's cross from the by-line was met by the Irish winger but after beating Jaaskelainen to the ball he could not beat the frame of the goal.
James Morrison had a great opportunity to level for West Brom but he let Jaaskelainen make the save after Odemwingie had set him free inside the penalty area.
Substitue Ishmael Miller saw his goal-bound volley from eight yards blocked by Gary Cahill after Brunt's run and cross from the left.
Odemwingie also managed to miss another guilt-edged chance when he shot wide from the angle after Brunt had set him free inside the penalty area.
Stuart Holden nearly secured all the points with 10 minutes left but Carson palmed his free-kick from 20 yards around the post for a corner.
Then with barely five minutes remaining Elmander wrapped up the victory.
He made his way through the West Brom defence and looked to pick out Ivan Klasnic.
The initial pass was blocked but came back to Elmander when the Swedish striker side-footed his effort inside the near post.
The two-goal margin flattered Bolton but they were deserving of the win and will now need to build on a very good first half of the season.