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Premier League

  • 17 September 2011
  • • 15:00
  • • Macron Stadium, Bolton
  • Referee: H. Webb
  • • Attendance: 21223

Bolton 1-2 Norwich: Martin Petrov penalty not enough for 10-man Wanderers as Canaries hold on for vital win

Bolton 1-2 Norwich: Martin Petrov penalty not enough for 10-man Wanderers as Canaries hold on for vital win

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Newly promoted side bag all three points and inflict fourth defeat of the season on Owen Coyle's men who finish the game a man down after Klasnic sees red

Bolton Wanderers struggled defensively as Norwich City sealed an important away victory with goals from Bradley Johnson and Anthony Pilkington.

The game started with an air of controversy when the linesman awarded a free kick against Bolton but the referee, Howard Webb, waved play on and as the game continued, the home defence stopped and striker Steve Morison almost came in at the back post.

Jussi Jaaskelainen protested towards Webb, quite rightly, as it was obvious Wes Hoolahan was fouled and then, Steve Morison was eventually offside, and he was booked for his protest.

Webb continued his poor start to the game when on the 17th minute Klasnic was hacked down by Leon Barnett and escaped a booking leaving the Croatian in pain on the deck.

And the referee was in the spotlight once again five minutes later when Boyata flew in on Hoolahan and once again Webb failed to show a card with the atmosphere in the game becoming nasty.

On the pitch Bolton were struggling to get the ball forward to Klasnic and Norwich looked effective on the counter-attack.

Keeping within the character of the match, Norwich took the lead through a scrappy goal in the 37th minute. A Daniel Fox corner found Morison at the back post who directed the ball back towards goal and despite plenty of Bolton defenders in attendance, Pilkington finished from close range for his first ever Premier League goal.

Bolton had little or no composure and were unable to keep possession after that goal. Kevin Davies was getting no change from the referee, with seemingly every decision going against him and Norwich didn’t have to wait long until they doubled their lead.

It was from another set-piece and yet more suspect Bolton defending as Fox’s free-kick was headed in by Johnson at the back-post as his run went completely unchecked three minutes before the break.

Yellow peril | Bradley Johnson celebrates Norwich's second goal at the Reebok Stadium

Bolton’s afternoon didn’t get any better before half-time when a moment of madness came over Klasnic. The Croatian international appeared to headbutt Morison with the linesman watching and he then informed Webb, who sent him off.

At half-time, Owen Coyle made a double substitution with Tuncay and Kevin Davies being replaced by Chris Eagles and David Ngog.

However, Norwich continued to look comfortable despite Martin Petrov’s free-kick going close and they almost added another through more defensive blunders from the home side. The Welsh international Morison, who was being watched by former Bolton player and Wales manager Gary Speed, drove in a low cross from the left and Boyata bungled his clearance to Johnson who should have scored.

Bolton were handed a lifeline by the Canaries when Barnett took down Ngog in the area on the 64th minute with a late challenge. The penalty was the fourth the newly promoted side have conceded this season and Petrov slotted it home to get them back in the game.

With Ngog starting to look lively, Bolton began to rally and look more dangerous despite having just 10 men.

Straight after the goal, Boyata ran down the right and crossed in a low ball to find the former Liverpool striker whose effort was deflected wide for a corner.

Despite the Trotters coming back into the game, Morison could have made the points safe 20 minutes from time. Hoolahan, who was having an impressive game, was able to find Morison in the area who expertly turned Knight inside out but his effort went narrowly wide.

Norwich were able to contain the home side towards the final whistle with the only disappointment being an injury to Hoolahan. Bolton struggled to commit to attack with the 10 men and made it a comfortable afternoon for the Canaries who will enjoy their trip home to Norfolk.   

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