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Page last updated at 21:53 GMT, Thursday, 13 March 2008

S Lisbon 1-0 Bolton (agg 2-1)

By Mandeep Sanghera

Bolton midfielder Danny Guthrie (left) and Sporting Lisbon's Bruno Pereirinha battle it out in a closely fought game
Guthrie (left) and Pereirinha were closely matched like their teams

Bolton were knocked out at the last 16 stage of the Uefa Cup after losing at Sporting Lisbon.

A goal for Bolton was a necessity after the 1-1 draw at home in the first leg but a makeshift side struggled for chances, despite plenty of toil.

Ricardo Vaz Te had Bolton's best chance but drove a shot into the side-netting.

Bolton left themselves exposed as the game wore on and Sporting eventually took advantage when Bruno Pereirinha curled in a shot.

Bolton manager Gary Megson had left seven available regular first-team players in England ahead of the weekend's relegation battle with Wigan.

His priority was clearly survival in the Premier League rather than the Uefa Cup but his unfamiliar looking side more than held their own at the Estadio Jose Alvalade.


Bolton keeper Ali Al Habsi had to turn a Simon Vukcevic free-kick round his post before Vaz Te found the side-netting with an angled strike at the other end.

The visitors made life decidedly uncomfortable for Sporting, who lacked the quality to capitalise on Bolton's desire to get forward.

And, when Sporting did work a gilt-edged chance on the half-hour, they failed to convert.

Pereirinha whipped in a cross which Vukcevic flicked on and Marat Izmailov steered over at the far post.

Bolton started to sit back more and more as they played on the counter-attack, while a spurnful Sporting saw and angled Leandro Romagnoli strike go straight to Habsi.

After the break, Sporting were more concerned with not conceding and were reluctant to commit to many players forward.

They did have a well-struck Pereirinha strike comfortably saved but chances were at a premium at either end.

Bolton tried to adopt a more adventurous approach with their exit looming only to lack an incisive edge as Sporting comfortably held them at bay.

The long balls with which Bolton tried to unsettle their opponents had little effect, while Vaz Te was ineffective as his pace was never allowed to have an impact by Sporting's tight defence.

Bolton left themselves exposed as they pressed for a goal and the home side almost took advantage late on.

Liedson had a free shot on goal but his strike was straight at Habsi and Pereirinha atoned for the miss when he found the far corner with a curling shot.

  • Bolton boss Gary Megson:
    "I've said all along our main aim is to retain our place in the Premier League.

    "In hindsight I still wouldn't change anything, and there's no sense of relief we are out either.

    "We're disappointed. You only have to take a look at the players in the dressing room because we certainly didn't come here to get beat, but our priority has to be the Premier League.

    "Now I expect all the players left behind to put a shift in at the JJB on Sunday, and hopefully get us a result."

    Sporting: Rui Patricio, Abel, Tonel, Anderson Polga, Grimi, Joao Moutinho, Bruno Pereirinha, Izmailov (Gladstone 87), Romagnoli (Adrien Silva 75), Liedson, Vukcevic (Tiui 66).
    Subs Not Used: Stojkovic, Ronny, Djalo, Farnerud.

    Booked: Joao Moutinho.

    Goals: Bruno Pereirinha 85.

    Bolton: Al Habsi, Hunt, Cahill, Meite, Samuel, Joey O'Brien, Guthrie, Teymourian (Braaten 71), Giannakopoulos, Vaz Te, Helguson (Woolfe 76).
    Subs Not Used: Walker, Harsanyi, Sinclair, Sissons, Jamieson.

    Booked: Teymourian, Guthrie.

    Att: 22,031

    Ref: Bertrand Layec (France).

    BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Bolton's Gary Cahill on 7.00 (on 90 minutes).

    Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.

    see also
    Uefa Cup as it happened
    13 Mar 08 |  Europe
    W Bremen 1-0 Rangers (agg 1-2)
    13 Mar 08 |  Europe
    PSV 0-1 Tottenham (1-1)
    12 Mar 08 |  Europe
    Everton 2-0 Fiorentina (2-2)
    12 Mar 08 |  Europe

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