An effervescent performance by winger Lee Chung-yong helped Bolton Wanderers defeat Tottenham Hotspurs at the Reebok Stadium on Saturday. Tottenham, impressive mid-week victors over incumbent UEFA Champions League winners Inter Milan, were dragged all over the pitch by a determined Bolton side unafraid of mixing grit with flair and who were equally undaunted by the prospect of shutting down Welsh livewire Gareth Bale.
The first half sprang into life as early as the thirty second mark as Kevin Davies won the ball on the touchline from Benoît Assou-Ekotto and Lee pounced to setup an onrushing Matt Taylor who miscued and skied the opportunity well over. The quick start ensured a furious tempo for the remainder of the half which finally saw the Wanderers receive their just desserts for their positive attacking play when the omnipresent Kevin Davies made the most of a defensive error by Sandro with a fine finish in the bottom corner. Much of the first half saw Lee up and down the flank, combining well with Davies, but doing his part to track back and stymie service to the pacey Bale, who looked to get in behind the Bolton defense with unsettling frequency.
If the first half was a luminous display, the second half was a torrid affair as Spurs looked to restore parity and Bolton to extend their lead. Lee fully indulged his license to get forward and ran Assou-Ekotto and Younes Kaboul ragged, often digging into his back of tricks to bamboozle the defenders.
Lee Chung-yong’s Marseilles turn
Bolton soon extended their lead shortly after the break with Gretar Steinsson making the most out of a foray into the Tottenham defensive third with a cool finish. Lee continued to beleaguer the Tottenham backline as his tricky dribbling and clever passes allowed the likes of Matt Taylor and Fabrice Muamba to come agonizingly close to extending Bolton’s burgeoning lead. Lee’s work paid off when, fifteen minutes from time, he collected a through ball by Matt Taylor in the penalty area with only the goalkeeper to beat and was bundled over by Assou-Ekotto. Referee Chris Foy had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and Kevin Davies obliged with a terrific finish into the side netting for his second of the match. Spurs did create some worrying moments for Bolton as fine goals by Alan Hutton and Roman Pavlyuchenko brought Tottenham within equalizing distance but a terrific breakaway by Martin Petrov, again aided by the imposing Davies, put the game well and truly out of reach in the 90th minute.