HOUSTON - JULY 20: Martin Petrov #10 of the Bolton Wanderers leaps over sliding goalkeeper Tyler Deric #24 of the Houston Dynamo to put the ball on goal where Kevin Davies #14 was able to put the ball in for a goal in the second half at Robertson Stadium on July 20, 2011 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
2-0 to Newcastle United doesn't do Bolton's performance justice. For large stretches of the match, Bolton kept Newcastle in check, keeping the Magpies scoreless for 70 minutes. Bolton were the better side for much of it, coming close to scoring on a number of occasions. The Wanderers would rue their missed chances. Hatem Ben Arfa carved apart a Bolton defense that just broke down to go ahead and Papiss Demba Cisse scored from what look like an offside position to put it beyond doubt.
Whenever Bolton did look like scoring, there was one man setting up the opportunity almost every single time. Martin Petrov was the Man of the Match (almost by default) against Fulham and he'll take it again today after the Newcastle loss.
Bolton came out for the second half like Andy Carroll's car on fire and came very close to scoring three times. On two of those three occasions, it was Martin Petrov supplying the lethal ball that nearly went into the back of the goal. It was Petrov's cross that would eventually find in Chris Eagles in the 48th minute and it was again Petrov who flashed a ball across the face of goal in the 65th minute. Bolton were inches from going ahead just five minutes before Newcastle scored. Petrov also had one of only three Bolton shots on target.
Bolton's most efficient man on the ball was Darren Pratley who completed 90% of his passes (taking 36 touches on the ball). The next highest pass accuracy percentage came from Mark Davies who completed 84% of his passes. Tim Ream was Bolton's best defender on the day, making the most interceptions (5) and the most clearances (14).
It's difficult to award a MOTM outright in this one simply because no one fully showed their class against Newcastle. Close just wasn't enough.