20 November 2010

Post-Game Report: Newcastle United @ Bolton Wonderers

Bolton Wonderers 5 - 1 Newcastle United FC

All I have to say is that I didn't see this coming. Bolton barely escaped relegation last season and here they are, sitting at #4 in the Premier League table (subject to change after tomorrows Man City v. Fulham match), but regardless. Newcastle came into the game 3-1-1 in the past five matches, including victories against powerhouse Arsenal and rivals Sunderland. Maybe its just me, but I didn't even know about Bolton's fantastic form. Coming into the match 2-1-2 (4-2-7 overall, pre-match) Bolton is the "dark horse" of the Premier League to me. Bolton doesn't have that many outstanding victories, the only memorable one would be 4-2 win again Tottenham. However, they do have some great results, including draws with Aston Villa, Everton, and Manchester United.

I don't want to take this victory away from Bolton because they absolutely deserve it. They had some the best dribbling inside of the box I've seen all season and they simply beat Newcastle to the ball on the offensive side of the ball. That being said, a majority of the Bolton goals can be attributed to poor, poor defending by the Newcastle back-line and Chris Hughton's refusal to change tactics, even when it was obvious the Toon defenders were playing to far up and Bolton was taking advantage of that. Yes, Bolton was caught offside four times, but they had 21 shots, eight of them on-goal. Add to that Newcastle midfielder and captain Kevin Nolan getting booked early in the 2nd Half and defender Coloccini getting sent off in the 76' and you've got a recipe for a loss. No, scratch that. Add a penalty given away in the 18' AND in the 90' and you've got a recipe for a loss.

That isn't to say Newcastle did everything wrong; its obvious by the scoreline they obviously did something right. Using classic Newcastle tactics, Andy Carroll was able to put one in the back of net in the 2nd Half, giving hope to the Toon Army that perhaps they could pull at least one point out of this match. That just wasn't possible however, as the Bolton attacks continued to light up the front side of the net. Yes, the penalty in stoppage time was BS and several of Carroll's shots were so close he could taste it. But you can't argue that the refs scored five goals, that was definitely the Bolton Wonderers.

- Zach 

PS - Colocinni getting sent off was completely deserved. I couldn't tell from my first view of the play, but after seeing the replay it was red-card worthy. Newcastle will be hurting against Chelsea with both Colocinni and Joey Barton on suspension. 

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