Bolton Wanderers 0
1-0 (Elano 85)
- Match reports
- Wed 31 Oct 2007, 12:00AM
- Posted by Leon Collins
Pre Match news
As previously hinted at, Sven gave most of his side from Saturday the chance to redeem themselves. The only exceptions were Andreas Isaksson, in for his first start of the season in place of Joe Hart, and Michael Ball replaced Martin Petrov. Javi Garrido shifted up to the left flank of midfield for the Bulgarian, who failed to shake off a niggling toe injury.
Anelka and Davies were missing for the home side, which showed three changes from the side that drew with Aston Villa on Sunday.
A highly vocal contingent of over 5,000 City fans had made the short journey up the M61, with the rest of the Reebok Stadium sparsely populated. City lined up in all sky blue.
With their fans right behind them, the Blues seemed to show no ill effects from the drubbing at the weekend in the early exchanges, their approach work showing all the patience that had become a feature of their play under the new manager.
The ever-popular El Hadji Diouf went into Howard Webb’s book after just 14 minutes for dissent towards the referee’s assistant after conceding a free kick to Micah Richards.
The night’s first half-chance fell to the home side after 25 minutes, Stelios out-jumped Corluka at a cross but the one-time City target put his glancing header well wide.
Neither side created anything of note until we reached 40 minutes, when City went agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock. A chip over the top found Michael Johnson just inside the area, and his first-time dink beat Jaaskelainen but rolled slowly just the wrong side of the right post.
Bolton went close as we entered stoppage time, Danny Guthrie making room 25 yards out and sending a well hit shot flying just wide of Isaksson’s left hand post. The biggest fright of the half came right at the end of the two added minutes, Nolan’s header from Guthrie’s cross skimming just past the other post this time.
Both sides looked livelier after the resumption, but without creating any clear cut chances. Vassell replaced Garrido, who received an encouraging ovation from the City fans after his difficult day at Chelsea.
Corluka and Dunne got in each other’s way at a corner just before the hour, with the Croatian attempting a flick that rolled harmlessly wide. Stelios fired a low shot straight at Isaksson on 61 minutes that the Swede gathered safely.
The hosts gave away a free kick in Elano territory on 66, but sadly the Brazilian could not conjure up any magic this time, firing the ball straight into the wall. There were two scares around the 70th minute for City, firstly when Guthrie spurned a great chance to fire over and then when Diouf curled the ball across the face of goal from the right.
Just afterwards came the worrying sight of Micah Richards being stretchered off after going down in a heap just before Diouf’s chance, the England international getting a generous ovation from the home fans.
But then with six minutes left the game finally erupted into life in controversial circumstances. Elano’s ball across the area struck Michalik and referee Webb pointed to the spot after consulting with his assistant on the near touchline. Campo and Jaaskelainen led huge protests to both the referee and the assistant, with the keeper going into the book, but eventually Elano stepped up and placed the ball wide of the keeper and into the bottom corner of the net.
Bolton were incensed and went on the attack, winning a free kick on the edge of our box. Diouf’s attempt beat Isaksson but rebounded off the crossbar to City’s huge relief.
The City keeper could not hold on at another free kick, and Ball was on hand to clear McCann’s header away off the line as we entered five minutes of time added on. Bolton threw everything at City, but the closest they came to equalising was when Dunne’s back header had Isaksson scrambling backwards to keep the score as it stood.
That's how it ended, with City through to the quarter finals in this competition for the first time in seven years after another late goal.
MCFC.co.uk Man of the Match: Elano - kept Bolton guessing and held his nerve after a lengthy wait to take the vital penalty.