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  • Bolton 3-2 Aston Villa: Cahill double, Klasnic great-strike

    Bolton scored late on to snatch a dramatic 3-2 victory at the Reebok Stadium after twice falling behind to Aston Villa in the Premier League, Saturday 05/03/2011.
    Gary Cahill cancelled out Darren Bent's Villa opener on the stroke of half-time. Marc Albrighton then put Villa back ahead and Ashley Young had a chance to make it 3-1 from the penalty spot.

    However Jussi Jaaskelainen saved the spot-kick - and soon after Cahill was again on target, volleying a rebound from his own header into the near-post top corner.

    Then with five minutes remaining, Ivan Klasnic hooked into the bottom corner to send the home fans wild.

    On a keenly fought and entertaining afternoon, the first talking point arrived when Bent was put through on goal by Young after four minutes.

    He may have been fractionally offside, but play continued only for Bent to completely miss the ball while attempting to take it around Jaaskelainen, having touched it with his standing foot.

    The England striker made up for his early aberration with the opening goal on 15 minutes, but had little to do to convert a wonderful Kyle Walker cross after the right-back's change of pace saw him charge between two Bolton men. A retreating Cahill had dared not touch the ball as it arrived low at the near post.

    Six minutes later Bent could have inadvertently made it two: Albrighton's cross from the right was headed away by David Wheater and the ball ricocheted off the striker's face and against the crossbar.

    Winger Albrighton caused problems all afternoon, with Young perhaps regretting not sliding to connect with another teasing ball in the following minutes.

    At the other end Daniel Sturridge - whose run of scoring in all his league games for Bolton ended in this, number five - headed wide while unmarked after a pinpoint Kevin Davies cross found him less than 10 yards out.

    Bolton pressure in the dying minutes of the first half paid off in injury-time. Elmander fought to finish a Davies knockdown, only for replacement centre-half Nathan Baker to put in a vital block and concede a corner.

    However Martin Petrov's inswinging corner was met at the near post by Cahill, his header bouncing inside the far upright.

    Baker, a left-back, was filling in alongside Ciaran Clark after James Collins failed a late fitness test with Richard Dunne and Carlos Cuellar already out.

    Bolton also looked a little shaky in defence after the break, with Fabrice Muamba ambling up from left-back to allow Bent to scamper through from an onside position - by the time he had controlled Young's bouncing pass and shot, Jaaskelainen had found the perfect spot to make the block.

    Sturridge missed with a header while at the other end Downing, quiet in the first half but in the midst of things in the second, somehow placed a volley wide of the far post when arriving alone to meet a deep Albrighton cross.

    Bent then missed a sitter himself after Downing headed another Albrighton ball in back across goal; with the keeper out of the way, his stabbed shot was tame and easy for Wheater to clear. From the rebound Young was unlucky to see his shot on the turn tipped away by a recovered Jaaskelainen.

    Bolton were caught napping by Downing as he rampaged down the right wing to cross perfectly with his weaker foot for Albrighton, whose side-footed volley into the ground looped over the Finnish shot-stopper and into the goal.

    That was on 64 minutes and four later Young went outside Wheater inside the box and was fouled. He did invite the challenge, but there was contact.

    After many arguments which saw two Bolton players booked - Owen Coyle led the claims that Walker had failed to keep the ball in play in the lead-up to the goal, and in fairness it was close to the dugouts - skipper Young sent his spot-kick to the bottom corner. Trouble was, Jaaskelainen read it and was agile enough to palm it away.

    Bolton were buoyed by the escape and equalised only five minutes later, a Stuart Holden corner headed towards goal by Cahill; when the ball came off a defender to the left of the goal, he reacted quickest to volley home expertly.

    It was Villa's turn to be furious following the winning goal. Sturridge's deep ball in was attacked by Wheater, who seemed to have his hands all over Walker's shoulders; Croatian substitute Klasnic sprinted away from goal to turn and hook a superb finish into the bottom corner.

    Bolton climb one place to sixth in the Premier League table, while Villa drop one to 13th and are only three points clear of the relegation zone.
    Jonathan Symcox / Eurosport


    Team Line-up:

    Bolton Wanderers: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Wheater, Cahill, Robinson, Elmander, Holden, Muamba, Petrov, Kevin Davies, Sturridge; subs: Bogdan, Taylor, Mark Davies, Klasnic, Moreno, Alonso, Lee
    Aston Villa: Friedel, Walker, Clark, Baker, Luke Young, Reo-Coker, Delph, Albrighton, Ashley Young, Downing, Bent; subs: Marshall, Pires, Agbonlahor, Bradley, Heskey, Petrov, Herd


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