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Saturday, 17 August, 2002, 15:56 GMT 16:56 UK
Fulham thrash Bolton
Rufus Brevett, Steve Marlet and Louis Saha celebrate Marlet's penalty
Steve Marlet put Fulham 3-1 ahead
Fulham 4-1 Bolton

Five goals, three penalties and the first goal of the new season were the highlights from Loftus Road as Fulham eased to victory.

They responded to Michael Ricketts' early opener with goals from strikers Louis Saha, Steve Marlet and a brace from Sylvain Legwinski.


We played very well but must now forget that and focus on the next game - this was a fantastic start
Fulham manager Jean Tigana

Bolton for their part looked a pale shadow of the team that had beaten Leicester 5-0 at this stage last season.

But with only three minutes on the clock, it was the visitors who opened the scoring with their first attack of the match.

Youri Djorkaeff danced into the Fulham area and was clumsily challenged by Cottagers centre-back Alain Goma.

  Key moments
3 mins: Ricketts' penalty puts Bolton 1-0 up
11 min: Saha equalises from the penalty spot
34 mins: Legwinski makes it 2-1
38 mins: Marlet's spot kick makes it 3-1
79 mins: Legwinski seals a 4-1 victory

Referee Alan Wiley immediately pointed to the spot and an ice cool Michael Ricketts - after a stop-start run-up - sent Edwin van der Sar the wrong way.

Despite the setback, Fulham hit back straight away, and Steve Marlet should have done better with a point-blank header.

But before Bolton could draw breath, Louis Saha had levelled from the penalty spot after another untidy challenge, this time by Bolton captain Gudni Bergsson.

Marlet, who hit the net just nine times after last season's 11.5m move from Lyon, missed another fine chance after 31 minutes as Fulham began to dominate.

And Legwinski showed his compatriot how it should be done three minutes later in a replica move.


I hope it's a great big kick up the backside - and that the reality has hit home straight away
Bolton manager Sam Allardyce

The midfielder skilfully cut inside from the right wing before hitting a fierce left-foot shot beyond the helpless Jussi Jaaskelainen.

It got even better for Fulham seven minutes before the break when Luis Boa Morte was sent sprawling by full-back Bernard Mendy on the edge of the penalty area.

This time, Marlet did find the net, confidently sweeping the ball to Jaaskelainen's left.

Bolton boss Sam Allardyce's response at half-time was to take off summer signings Mendy and the ineffective Jay Jay Okocha.

Michael Ricketts celebrates the first goal of the season
Michael Ricketts celebrates the first goal of the season

But Fulham continued where they had left off, passing the ball neatly around the midfield as Bolton sat back.

Junichi Inamoto's introduction after 70 minutes sent the sizeable Japanese contingent in the home crowd into raptures - and his first contribution was to whip a corner onto Marlet's head, only for the Frenchman to head over.

Bolton tried to rouse themselves, but any hopes of an unlikely comeback were finally ended when Sylvain Legwinski grabbed his second 12 minutes from the end.


Fulham: Van der Sar, Finnan, Melville, Goma, Brevett, Malbranque (Inamoto 69), Davis, Boa Morte, Legwinski, Saha (Sava 78), Marlet.
Subs Not Used: Taylor, Collins, Ouaddou.

Booked: Melville.

Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Mendy (Pedersen 45), Bergsson, N'Gotty, Charlton, Frandsen, Okocha (Whitlow 45), Gardner, Djorkaeff, Nolan (Warhurst 70), Ricketts.
Subs Not Used: Poole, Holdsworth.

Booked: Mendy, N'Gotty.

Attendance: 16,338

Referee: A Wiley (Staffordshire).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Mike Sewell
"Fulham were very much at home"
Fulham's Steve Finnan
"They seemed to take their foot off the gas"
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