Roman the conqueror

ROMAN PAVLYUCHENKO’S renaissance continues with the striker following up his scoring display at Wigan last Sunday with two more goals last night to set up Tottenham’s FA Cup quarter-final at Fulham.

Pavlyuchenko’s double, which bookended two Bolton own goals from Jussi Jaaskelainen and Andy O’Brien, completed a hopelessly one-sided win for the home side.

But while the significance of the win to Harry Redknapp’s side was that they continue their dual bid for FA Cup glory and a place in next season’s Champions League, for Pavlyuchenko, the events of the last four days could finally kick-start his Tottenham career.

This was the forward’s first start since October and he had been rewarded by Redknapp for scoring twice at Wigan after being introduced as a late substitute.

Having been shown faith by his manager, Pavlyuchenko responded in commendable style, pressing his claims to feature more prominently in the final months of the campaign.

Tottenham continued seamlessly on from the Wigan victory at the weekend by dominating the early possession against a Bolton team for whom this game was largely a distraction before the resumption of their Premier League survival battle against Wolves this weekend.

Nontheless, Wanderers carved out the better chances during the opening stages, profiting largely from lapses in concentration on the part of the home side.

With Tottenham moving the ball quickly and accurately, there was a growing feeling that Bolton would come to regret the missed opportunities and so it proved when Pavlyuchenko put Spurs ahead in the 23rd minute.

Collecting a ball played in from the left by Luka Modric, the striker turned and eased his way past Zat Knight before confidently slipping the ball past Jaaskelainen.

Bolton suddenly looked like the struggling team they are and could have fallen two behind in the 30th minute when Andy O’Brien carelessly conceded possession to Jermain Defoe who sped forward 20 yards before firing a right foot shot that forced an excellent save from Jaaskelainen.

The keeper was far less convincing, however, when, five minutes later, he was caught in two minds and succeeded only in turning Wilson Palacios’s drilled right wing cross into his own net.

The fight completely disappeared from Bolton and they suffered an even greater humiliation shortly after the break when Andy O’Brien followed Jaaskelainen’s example and scored an even more embarrassing own goal.

Eidur Gudjohnsen was introduced at half-time to face his former club in place of the England striker and Icelander’s impact was immediate.

Collecting the ball by the halfway line less than two minutes after the restart, Gudjohnsen delivered a perfectly weighted ball inside Bolton right back Sam Ricketts that allowed Gareth Bale to make yet another telling forward run capped by a hard, low cross that the hapless O’Brien sliced into his own net.

Jasskelainen provided a reminder of his qualities with another excellent reaction save to deny Pavlyuchenko. But that provided only a brief respite and the Russian completed an overwhelming win with a neat finish three minutes from time.

Subs for Tottenham: Gudjohnsen for Defoe 46, Kranjcar for Palacios 59, Rose for Bentley 69.

Subs for Bolton: Riga for Taylor 56, Elmander for Klasnic 56, Lee for Gardner 79.


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