Tuesday 29 January 2008, 8:00pm at Reebok Stadium, Bolton
Barclays Premier League
Bolton Wanderers
Bolton Wanderers
0
Fulham FC
Fulham
0
Failing to capitalise on a number of opportunities, Fulham are held to a goalless draw by a resolute Bolton Wanderers at Craven Cottage.

46' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Tamir Cohen
Off:Joey O'Brien

68' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Andranik Teymourian
Off:Danny Guthrie

83' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Heidar Helguson
Off:Matthew Taylor

74' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Philippe Christanval
Off:Moritz Volz

83' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Carlos Bocanegra
Off:Leon Andreasen

87' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Hameur Bouazza
Off:Jimmy Bullard

0
15
30
45
60
75
90

First Half Action

Roy Hodgson handed his two latest signings their Fulham debuts on Tuesday night. Brede Hangeland slotted in alongside captain Aaron Hughes at the back and Leon Andreasen formed part of the Hogson’s central midfield trio, alongside Murphy and Bullard. Davies and Volz supported on the flanks and Dempsey played as Fulham’s lone striker.

The Whites made arguably their best start to a Premier League fixture this season. There was an obvious improvement in the balance and organisation of the side and Fulham’s passing was fluid and well versed during the first half.

3 min Matty Taylor fired in the first shot of the game. Bolton earned a free-kick 25 yards from goal but Bolton’s latest recruit sent his set piece high and wide. Jimmy Bullard showed his fine range of passing in the opening minutes, firing in pinpoint passes to the feet of Konchesky and Dempsey.

7 min Some slick passing from front to back set up Dempsey for Fulham’s first opportunity of the game. Hangeland fed the ball through to Andreasen who teed up Murphy 40 yards from goal. Murphy’s through ball cut through Bolton’s defence and Dempsey beat the offside trap before firing wide from an acute angle 17 yards from goal.

13 min It was certainly a bright, positive start to the game by Fulham. The Whites were organised, efficient with their passing and dominated possession, especially in midfield where Bullard, Murphy and Andreassen linked up superbly.

15 min Andreasen almost made the perfect start to his Fulham career when he fired in a thunderous 30 yard, right footed shot. Jaaskkelainen could only tip the ball onto the post for a corner. Minutes later Bullard tried his luck from distance, forcing Jaaskelainen into a second save in as many minutes. Without doubt this was Fulham’s best start to a Premier League game this season.

21 min A Bolton free kick from deep was sent into Fulham’s area and the rebound fell to Steinsson on the edge of the area. The midfielder produced a fine acrobatic volley but Niemi was left untroubled. Moments later Bolton broke down the right flank and Guthrie should have done better. Unmarked on the right hand side of the area the midfielder stroked the ball wide.

23 min Fulham earned two free-kicks in quick succession within shooting distance. Murphy fired the first over the bar whilst Dempsey was caught offside from Bullard’s delivery on the second.

27 min Bolton went on the offensive as the half hour mark approached. Two quick breaks caught Fulham short at the back and a third attack in as many minutes left O’Brien unmarked on the right hand side of the box – fortunately for Fulham O’Brien fired his right footed shot straight into Niemi’s chest.

35 min The home side began to readdress the balance of power during the final 15 minutes of the first half. In possession Fulham looked comfortable but Bolton certainly posed a threat with their direct style of play, especially from set pieces with the likes of Nolan and Davies provided an aerial threat.

43 min The final action of the first half saw Steinsson burst down the right flank and deliver a fine cross from the by-line to the near post. Hangeland was first to react and pipped Davies to the near post to clear the ball to safety. The centre half certainly looked comfortable at the back, dominating in the air and comfortable on the ball during the first 45. Two minutes later Mark Clattenberg blew for half-time.

Second Half Action

Gary Megson made one change for the second half, replacing Joey O’Brien with Tamir Cohen. Fulham remained unchanged.

50 min Fulham continued to build from the back, passing the ball through midfield but lacked a cutting edge in the final third. Bolton’s approach was more direct but the home side looked to make inroads down the left flank. Moritz Volz almost caught out Jaaskelainen as the keeper controlled a back pass. A hairy moment for the Bolton keeper.

55 min Matty Taylor went within inches of breaking the deadlock after some fine work down the right flank from Steinsson. The right back raced to the by-line and delivered a fine pass to Nolan, racing in at the near post. Bolton’s captain flicked the ball between his legs towards the far post and Taylor slid in at the far post. Fortunately for Fulham Taylor could not match the pace of the ball.

60 min Bolton’s pressure continued. A series of corners, deep throw-ins and crosses from the flanks tested Fulham at the back but Konchesky and Hangeland made some timely interceptions at the back to keep the score level.

67 min Bolton attacked down the left through Taylor and as Bolton worked the ball into a central position Andreasen conceded a free kick 18 yards from goal. Guthrie stepped up but sent his right footed curling free-kick straight into Niemi’s arms.

69 min Gary Megson introduced his second substitution of the game with 20 minutes remaining, bringing on Andranik for Danny Guthrie. Moments later Fulham produced their first clear attempt on goal of the second half. Davies’ in-swinging free kick from the left found Dempsey whose header was well saved by Jaaskelainen.

70 min A Bolton free kick into Fulham’s area was punched clear by Niemi but the ball fell to Michalik on the edge of the area. The midfielder’s volley goalwards looped over Niemi and shaved the outside of the keeper’s post. Moments later Nolan went close with a header to the far post. 

75 min Fulham produced their best move of the second half to set up Andreasen on the right hand side of the area. The ball was fired into Dempsey who dummied to free Andreasen but the midfielder’s shot from the angle went wide.

77 min After months of injury frustration Philippe Christanval returned to the fold, replacing Moritz Volz. Christanval slotted into central midfield and Andreasen moved wide right.

83 min Fulham rode their luck with seven minutes remaining. Bolton creating two good chances on goal but Michalik wasted the better chance inside the area. Both manager’s made immediate changes. For Bolton Matt Taylor was replaced by former Fulham striker Heidar Helguson and for Fulham Carlos Bocanegra came on for Leon Andreasen.

85 min Bolton continued to press down the left flank and Niemi handled one high cross to perfection with five minutes remaining. Roy Hodgson brought on his third and final substitution of the game, bringing on Hameur Bouazza for Jimmy Bullard.

90 min Neither side produced any notable threat as fulltime approached. The Fourth Official indicated three minutes of injury time and Bolton attacked with a series of direct balls into the area and substitute Cohen produced the final moment of incident, firing in a fine left footed volley from 25 yards. The ball screamed past Niemi’s far post and seconds later Referee Mark Clattenburg called an end to the game. The Whites received superb support from their travelling fans on Tuesday night and were applauded by all the players at the final whistle.

Fulham can be pleased with their performance at the Reebok and it was certainly an impressive performance by Brede Hangeland on his debut as the Whites left the Reebok with a clean sheet. Roy Hodgson’s side will now look to build on this result at Craven Cottage on Sunday when they take on Aston Villa. 

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Tuesday 29 January 2008
Kick-off: 8:00pm

Venue: Reebok Stadium, Bolton
Attendance: 17,732

Referee: Mark Clattenburg

Bolton Wanderers

Line-up: Jääskeläinen; Steinsson, O'Brien, Méité, O'Brien (Tamir Cohen 46'); Taylor (Helguson 83'), McCann, Guthrie (Teymourian 68'), Gardner; Nolan; Davies

Unused substitutes: Al-Habsi, Samuel

Fulham

Line-up: Niemi; Baird, Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky; Andreasen (Bocanegra 83'); Volz (Christanval 74'), Murphy, Bullard (Bouazza 87'), Davies; Dempsey

Unused substitutes: Warner, Healy

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Arsenal 24 57
2 Manchester United 23 54
3 Chelsea 23 50
4 Everton 23 42
5 Aston Villa 24 41
6 Liverpool 22 40
7 Manchester City 23 40
8 Blackburn Rovers 24 38
9 Portsmouth 23 37
10 West Ham United 22 33
11 Tottenham Hotspur 23 27
12 Newcastle United 24 27
13 Middlesbrough 24 25
14 Sunderland 24 23
15 Bolton Wanderers 24 22
16 Reading 23 22
17 Birmingham City 24 20
18 Wigan Athletic 24 20
19 Fulham 24 16
20 Derby County 23 7
Bolton Wanderers (4-4-1-1)
  • 22Jussi Jääskeläinen
  • 2Grétar Steinsson
  • 31Andy O'Brien
  • 5Abdoulaye Méité
  • 28Joey O'Brien
  • 7Matthew Taylor
  • Gavin McCann
  • 17Danny Guthrie
  • 11Ricardo Gardner
  • 4Kevin Nolan
  • 14Kevin Davies
Substitutes
  • 26Ali Al-Habsi
  • 3Jlloyd Samuel
  • 16Andranik Teymourian
  • 21Tamir Cohen
  • 18Heidar Helguson
Fulham (4-1-4-1)
  • 29Antti Niemi
  • 34Chris Baird
  • 18Aaron Hughes
  • 32Brede Hangeland
  • 4Paul Konchesky
  • 26Leon Andreasen
  • 2Moritz Volz
  • 27Danny Murphy
  • 21Jimmy Bullard
  • 25Simon Davies
  • 23Clint Dempsey
Substitutes
  • 12Tony Warner
  • 3Carlos Bocanegra
  • 5Philippe Christanval
  • 24Hameur Bouazza
  • 31David Healy