Tottenham Win 3-1 To Head Into The FA Cup Semi-Finals

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After a difficult run of form, Tottenham prevailed against Bolton on an emotional night…
 

Following a run of one win in seven, Tottenham’s swagger returned at White Hart Lane last night. Manager Harry Redknapp had spoken before the game about how sentiment for Fabrice Muamba would have to be forgotten once the whistle blew, and his players listened.

The team we saw last night was the Tottenham who lit up the Premier League before that difficult run started with a loss against rivals Arsenal. No matter how good a team is for large parts of the season, they will at some point experience a downturn in form. That is just football. It is how a team reacts to that downturn that marks them as special.

In the first half Tottenham played the fast-paced attacking football that has made them the neutral’s favourite. With Bale, Adebayor, Modric and Van der Vaart all starting, they continually drove forward and could have realistically been 5-0 up at half-time but were thwarted by Adam Bogdan in Bolton’s goal. In all, they had 8 shots on target in the first half and dominated possession.

The second-half began in the same fashion. For 30 minutes Tottenham battered Bolton’s goal without being able to find a way through. Yet even the strongest wall will break if you hit it hard enough, and after 75 minutes the breakthrough came. Van der Vaart sent in a perfect corner, and New Zealand international Ryan Nelsen rose at the back post to head home his first goal for the club.

With the nerves of the crowd calmed, the lead was doubled within three minutes. Tottenham moved up the field with some electric football and the ball broke to Jermain Defoe. The striker rolled a beautiful pass to Bale, and the Welshman proved again why he is so coveted with a chipped shot past Bogdan.

Despite a nervy moment when Bolton scored with minutes remaining, Tottenham restored the two-goal advantage when substitute Louis Saha scored a screamer from 20 yards. Anything less than a victory would’ve been unfair on Spurs, who ended the game with 19 shots on target and 14 corners. With a semi-final place secured, Tottenham have four days to prepare for Sunday’s game against Swansea which will be vital in the race to secure fourth place. If they play like this, nobody will be able to stop them heading into next year’s Champions League.

Football