Bolton came into Sunday's match against Everton having lost three of four, but after a convincing 2-0 win at the Reebok, the Trotters can be better described as having won two of three, now only one point back of Sunderland for England's seventh place. An early goal from Gary Cahill and a second half strike from Daniel Sturridge made the Trotters' margin, with Everton failing to compensate for the absence of Louis Saha.
Saha, who scored four last week against Blackpool, is out with a leg injury. In his place, David Moyes started Victor Anichebe. The Nigerian put in a good shift - strong with the ball at his feet, able to test the Trotter back line - though got little help. Tim Cahill, aside from a chance created for him by Leighton Baines in the first half, was a non-factor, while Jermaine Beckford was ineffectual when brought on late. All together, it was a relatively east day for Bolton `keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen.
Bolton did not generate a lot of chances on Tim Howard, either, though those they did they executed well. The first goal, however, needs some fortunate to couple with the execution, with Gary Cahill's header from 14 yards out deflecting off John Heitenga, sending the ball to the opposite side of a diving Tim Howard.
But even after Bolton went up 1-0 after nine minutes, the match was played even. Only toward halftime did one team start to exhibit control, with Everton pushing Bolton deep while threatening to score from a cross. The match, though, went into halftime 1-0, with Eveton never able to regain momentum.
In the second half, it was another ball served into the box that created Bolton's second goal. David, on for the injured Zat Kniight sent a ball from the center circle into the middle of the Everton area, where Gary Cahill was able to win a ball before it was lifted high, just beyond the edge of the area. There, Lee Chung-Yong won a challenge, heading the ball back and into the right side of the box for Daniel Sturridge. The Chelsea loanee beat Howard to the far post with a left-footed shot, sealing the match for Bolton.
The Trotters now move to 36 points, staying in eighth place. Thanks to Tottenham's win yesterday at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland's lead over Bolton for seventh is one point, the two teams fighting for what could be England's last European football spot.
Everton's loss means the Toffees lose-out on a chance to join that race. Perhaps more importantly, David Moyes's side is only three points above the drop.