David Moyes’ side made it back-t0-back wins for the first time this season after beating Wolves with a late Leighton Baines penalty last week at Goodison Park. The Toffee’s ended a run of five defeats from their last six with that victory and made it two in a row with a convincing display against Bolton. Owen Coyle will be cursing his side’s luck once again after their task was made tougher following David Wheater’s dismissal after 20 minutes. That disadvantage would prove crucial as Everton took the lead just after half time through Marouane Fellaini before substitute Apostolos Velios secured the points 12 minutes from time to send the Merseysiders home with a smile on their face. A 10th of the season for the Trotters keeps them in the relegation zone heading into the festive period with the pressure Coyle bound to increase should his side continue to lose games. They hardly troubled the visitors during the 90 minutes and should have been on the end of a heavier scoreline with Tim Cahill squandering a number of chances to increase Everton’s goal tally. Moyes’ side have struggled in front of goal this season although he will be pleased his players managed to take two of the 17 chances the created.
It was always going to be a tough task for Bolton to emerge victorious from this game having won one and lost five of their six league games at the Reebok this season. That got even toughed when Wheater was sent off after 20 minutes launching in with a rash challenge on Diniyar Bilyaletdinov with referee Michael Oliver showing no hesitation in producing a red card. Everton certainly made the man advantage count and should have been ahead only for Johnny Heintinga to see his curling effort saved by Jussi Jaaskelainen as a lacklustre first half ended goalless. The Toffee’s cranked up the pressure after the break and they were ahead within four minutes of the restart through Fellaini. Leon Osman spread the ball out to Baines on the left and the left back, who had caused Bolton problems all afternoon, crossed first time for the Belgian to poke in his first Premier League goal of the campaign. The visitors were in the supremacy and should have doubled their lead only for Bilyaletdinov to shoot wide before Louis Saha could only fire straight at Jaaskelainen from close range.
Surprisingly the Trotters then found themselves with a glorious chance to equalise after Mark Davies produced a superb through ball for Ivan Klasnic and despite a good first touch to get away from his marker the striker could only fire at the feet of Tim Howard. That proved to be another crucial turning point in the game as the away side went in search of a second goal but were once again denied by Jaaskelainen. The Finnish keeper produced a remarkable double save with 20 minutes remaining keeping out Cahill’s initial effort before blocking Saha on the rebound. It didn’t take long for the second goal to come though with Velios coming off the bench to settle the nerves in the travelling support smashing home from six-yards out after Cahill had headed a deep Baines cross back across goal. The win lifts the Toffee’s into eight with Bolton remaining third from bottom and facing a difficult winter as they battle to preserve their top-flight status.