There is no doubt who the star at White Hart Lane was on Tuesday. Adam Bogdan, Bolton's Cabbage Patch Kid goalkeeper was sensational, thwarting Tottenham Hotspur time and time again, but it wasn't enough to win Bolton the match. Spurs were far superior to Bolton everywhere except for in goal and after a lot of early frustration, they finally broke through to pick up a deserved 3-1 win. Now Spurs are onto Wembley for the FA Cup semifinals, where Chelsea awaits them.
Prior to the match, the talk was on Fabrice Muamba, which is to be expected considering that when these two teams last tried to play this match, he went down to the grass and some feared he might never get back up. Thankfully, he did and is doing better, but as soon as the match kicked off, the talk was not about Muamba. It was about how Spurs couldn't figure out how to score, which is hardly a new talking point at White Hart Lane.
At halftime, Spurs had 13 shots to Bolton's zero and eight of those were on goal. Every time it looked like Tottenham would break through, Bogdan was there to deny them. Nobody would call Tottenham's finishing clinical, but they have been worse before. They weren't hitting every shot right at Bogdan. They may him dive right and live, leap, come out for crosses. Luka Modric, Jake Livermore, Rafael van der Vaart and Scott Parker all had a go. There wasn't a single thing that Bogdan wasn't asked to do and he answered every single call in the first half.
The second half started much like the first went. More chances for Spurs and no goals. It was the most Spurs-ian of efforts, but Ryan Nelsen (RYAN F**KING NELSEN!) who finally broke through in the 74th minute. Most amazingly, it was a corner kick and header that put Tottenham in front with van der Vaart crossing for Nelsen, whose header was superb and Bogdan was finally beaten. It was Spurs' second headed goal since September. The world was not a real place anymore.
Three minutes later, Gareth Bale got in on the action. With a headed goal on the scoresheet, anything was possible and a good, quick move by Tottenham put Bale in alone on Bogdan for a cool finish to double Spurs' lead.
This being Spurs, they couldn't just win it easily and comfortably. If the first 73 minutes were not frustrating enough, the final few were when Tottenham let Kevin Davies score in the 90th minute. Their lead was down to one and the stress was back.
Bolton never really threatened again and Louis Saha added a brilliant strike with the last play of the match to make it 3-1, but only once Tottenham tossed in a little extra drama and anxiety. How Spurs-ian of them.