Bolton 0-3 FulhamBy: Sam | April 7th, 2012
A resolute performance saw a third away victory and three excellent goals. Throughout the game Bolton lacked the dynamic that Fulham had: the home team’s passing was poor and they often lost possession in midfield, while the men in the dangerous looking black away kit were often tidy in possession and produced some wonderful attacking movements.
At the heart of keeping things tidy was Mahamadou Diarra. He closed down on opponents with precision and for most of the game kept things simple when he had the ball. Behind him, the defence had a comfortable day of collecting his passes. Diarra’s good work in midfield was rewarded when he met JA Riise’s pass across the Bolton box to score Fulham’s third. The once clubless player showed that his fitness isn’t so rusty after making a dashing run to meet Riise’s pass.
The Fulham back line had a sound day, too. Aaron Hughes won nearly every ball in the air and Stephen Kelly continued his solid defensive duties. When Bolton’s best chance came – David N’gog through on goal in the Fulham box – Riise was there to catch up with the striker and got rid of the threat without conceding a penalty.
On the attack was Damien Duff who constantly ran around their right-back Marcos Alonso either by cutting inside to his favoured left foot or running to the line and dinking balls into the box with his right foot. It was one of these right footed crosses that Clint Dempsey met with a fine header to score Fulham’s second goal.
But it was the first goal that will be a goal of the month contender. Dempsey and Riise stood over a free-kick that was a fair distance from goal. Dempsey patted Riise’s arm to indicate ‘hey, you take it, you got that wicked shot sure’. But it was Dempsey who took the free-kick instead. And it bent magnificently into the top right-hand corner. Who knew Dempsey had that in his locker and was that Fulham’s first goal from a direct free-kick this season?
It was also debut day for Marcello Trotta. He came on when the game was sealed after the third goal. The 19-year-old look likes he has buffed up his upper body – although this year’s Kappa kit seems to have that affect on most of the Fulham team. In the short time left of the game, Trotta ran past a few defenders to get a shot on target.
A good away day, then. One negative, though, was losing Bryan Ruiz to injury. He was in pain after landing on his feet without being challenged and had to be strechered off. But during the game he played one of those through balls that effectively took out the whole Bolton team. It just missed Riise for what would have been an excellent goal. Let’s hope Ruiz’s injury isn’t too bad.