by Glenn Lavery at White Hart Lane
Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 Bolton Wanderers
The FA Cup with Budweiser
Sixth Round Proper
7.30pm, Tuesday 27 March 2012
White Hart Lane
Live on ESPN
Live TV broadcast fee - £212,000
Winning club will receive £360,000 from The FA prize fund
Watch the highlights by clicking on the video in the media gallery above
Two goals in three second-half minutes helped book Tottenham an FA Cup with Budweiser Semi-Final against Chelsea, as Harry Redknapp’s men saw off Bolton at White Hart Lane, despite the heroics of Trotters’ goalkeeper Adam Bogdan.
The Hungarian stopper had an excellent game and repelled nearly everything Spurs threw at him, including a superb double save in the opening ten minutes.
But Ryan Nelsen’s header, from a Rafael van der Vaart corner, and a cool finish from Gareth Bale in the final quarter of an hour finally broke Bogdan’s resistance and guided Spurs towards a last-four berth at Wembley in three weeks’ time.
Bolton substitute Kevin Davies did nab a consolation in the final minute, but Spurs’ own substitute Louis Saha sealed Tottenham’s passage deep into added time.
This Sixth Round tie, which had to be re-scheduled following the cardiac arrest suffered by Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba in the initial game on Saturday 17 March, was ignited by a fantastic double stop from Bogdan in just the eighth minute, two saves which really set the tone for the game.
He had already been required to stop a fierce drive from Bale when Emmanuel Adebayor slipped Jake Livermore into the box for a right-foot shot across goal which Bogdan did well to block. The ball fell invitingly for Luka Modric but Bogdan was up quickly to turn the Croatian’s effort over the bar. He was also called into action by van der Vaart and Adebayor as Spurs set about their opponents from the off.
By the 21st-minute, Bogdan had frustrated Adebayor and Bale once more each and was single-handedly keeping his side in The FA Cup. And one time in the first half when Bogdan wasn’t anywhere near a Spurs effort, the side-netting intervened, when Bale drove a rasping shot goalwards after some neat footwork by Modric out on the left.
But it didn’t take long for Bogdan to remind Tottenham what a good game he was having when he palmed away a Scott Parker effort from eight yards out.
Bolton had created little in the way of goal chances and the sides went in goalless at the break, but van der Vaart came within the width of the crossbar of putting Spurs ahead from a centrally-placed, 20-yard free-kick just three minutes after the restart. The north Londoners did not appear in the mood for a replay.
On the hour mark Ledley King was the next Tottenham player to come close to breaking the deadlock when he met van der Vaart’s left-wing cross inside the box, but the header skimmed inches over the top.
Chris Eagles then had the visitors’ first real effort at goal when his shot from the edge of the box was deflected over the bar by a combination of King and Nelsen.
The hitherto clearest opportunity of the game fell to van der Vaart who, after being played in by Adebayor, found himself one-one-one with Bogdan and with the form the Hungarian was in, it takes little guessing as to who came out on top in that duel. And just to prove that one-on-one was no fluke, Bogdan parried an Adebayor shot behind for a corner minutes later when the striker was clean through.
The longer the game remained goalless, the more Bolton would have felt they had a chance of stealing a place in the Semi-Final and Ivan Klasnic found himself in space on a rare counter-attack, but shot rather tamely at Cudicini from an acute angle.
With Spurs finding it impossible to beat the Bogdan, Redknapp summoned proven goalscorer Jermain Defoe from the bench, but the England man was on the pitch only a matter of seconds before he, too, was denied by Bolton’s No.1.
It mattered, not, though as Nelsen eventually gave Spurs the lead in the 74th minute as he guided van der Vaart’s corner back across goal and into the far corner. Bogdan, for once, was helpless to prevent it.
With the crowd lifted and the Spurs players no doubt relieved to have finally broken the deadlock, it wasn’t long before it was 2-0 as Bale was played through by Defoe and the Welsh wizard composed himself before calmly curling the ball into the back of the net.
Davies pulled a goal back for Bolton in the final minute, when he converted Klasnic's centre, but Saha scored from 18 yards with literally the last kick of the game to put a deserved gloss on his side’s win.
A 3-1 scoreline was the least Spurs deserved, certainly in terms of chances created, and their persistence eventually paid off. Their reward is a Wembley Semi-Final against Chelsea on Sunday 15 April.
23 Carlo Cudicini, 3 Gareth Bale, 8 Scott Parker (18 Jermain Defoe, 71), 10 Emmanuel Adebayor (15 Louis Saha, 80), 11 Rafael van der Vaart (25 Danny Rose, 80), 14 Luka Modric, 26 Ledley King (C), 28 Kyle Walker, 29 Jake Livermore, 32 Benoit Assou-Ekotto, 33 Ryan Nelsen
Substitutes not used 24 Brad Friedel, 4 Younes Kaboul, 17 Giovani Dos Santos, 21 Niko Kranjcar
Manager Harry Redknapp
1 Adam Bogdan, 3 Marcos Alonso, 7 Chris Eagles, 12 Zat Knight, 16 Mark Davies, 17 Ivan Klasnic, 18 Sam Ricketts, 19 Nigel Reo-Coker (C), 21 Darren Pratley (32 Tim Ream, 28), 25 Dedryck Boyata (14 Kevin Davies, 75), 30 Ryo Miyaichi (9 Tuncay Sanli, 79)
Substitutes not used 24 Jussi Jaaskelainen, 10 Martin Petrov, 24 David Ngog, 37 Josh Vela
Manager Owen Coyle
Referee Howard Webb