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Kanu stars for Portsmouth

Third straight defeat for Bolton

LONDON: Nwankwo Kanu scored one goal and created the other two to guide Portsmouth to a 3-1 victory over Bolton in the English Premier League on Saturday.

After Nicolas Anelka had put Bolton 1-0 ahead in the 12th minute, Kanu equalised in the 16th and provided the pass for John Utaka’s strike in the 30th. Matt Taylor’s penalty after a foul on Kanu made it 3-1 with two minutes to go.

The result means that Harry Redknapp’s unbeaten Portsmouth has five points from a victory and two ties while Bolton has lost its first three matches.

Rain-hit match

In heavy rain at Fratton Park, Wanderers scored first when El-Hadji Diouf controlled the ball well, went past Portsmouth defender Djimi Traore and then fed the ball to Anelka. The France striker held off Hermann Hreidarsson and scored with a low angled shot through the legs of goalkeeper David James.

Within a minute, Kanu headed home a corner for what he thought was an equaliser only for referee Steve Tanner to whistle for a foul by a Pompey player.

Equaliser

But Kanu levelled in the 16th when he took a short pass from Utaka in front of the Bolton goal and the lanky striker was unmarked to prod the ball home.

Bolton manager Sammy Lee was furious that his team had not been awarded a free kick earlier in the move, however, for a foul on Anelka by Hreidarsson.

Portsmouth then went ahead in the 30th when Utaka collected a sideways pass from Kanu in his own half and sprinted half the length of the field, outpacing two Bolton defenders and rounding goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen before rolling the ball into an empty net.

Pompey made sure of the points with a penalty two minutes from the end.

Kanu broke into the area and was pulled down by Gerard Cid and Taylor drove home the spot kick with a confident low shot.

Not panic

Meanwhile, the Bolton manager insisted he won’t press the panic button despite watching his side slump to a third consecutive defeat, that left Bolton bottom of the Premier League.

Lee’s appointment as Sam Allardyce’s successor has been questioned because he lacks managerial experience, but the former Liverpool coach is convinced Bolton showed enough promising signs to suggest it will end its losing run soon.

“I’m not being glib about it, but I felt there were signs we are going in the right direction,” Lee told Sky Sports.

“When we played football in the right areas, I saw progress and development,” he said. — Agencies

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