Coyle delighted for match-winner

Bolton bounced back from their FA Cup defeat in style, but the identity of the match-winner made the victory even more special for Owen Coyle.

When the Scot sent on Tamir Cohen for the injured Daniel Sturridge six minutes from time, Arsenal probably breathed a sigh of relief after struggling to cope with the on-loan Chelsea striker.

Sturridge’s seventh goal in nine Bolton games had put his side into the lead while, in contrast, Cohen was still looking for his first goal of a traumatic season.

A minor operation last summer had left him playing catch-up to the rest of the squad then in December his father Avi was left critically injured by a motorcycle accident.

Cohen returned to Israel to be at his father’s bedside but the former Liverpool defender did not recover and died from his injuries nine days later at the age of 54.

When the Bolton midfielder met Matthew Taylor’s corner with a powerful header in the 90th minute to earn a 2-1 win, his immediate reaction was to take off his shirt to reveal a picture of his father before breaking down in tears.

Avi Cohen had been very much in the thoughts of the Bolton squad, who held up a shirt with the words ‘Get well soon Avi Cohen’ on the back during a victory over West Brom on Boxing Day.

Coyle said: "It was very emotional. Tamir’s had such a difficult year because he had an operation in the summer and when he came back in pre-season he was slightly behind the lads in terms of fitness.

"By the time he was up and running the lads were flying and he had to be very patient. And then when he was on the brink of coming back his father passed away.

"A week before passing away, Avi had spent a week with us at the training ground and we all got to know him. When you saw Tamir with his team-mates, it was emotional for them as well because they got to know Avi. He was such a lovely man.

"Tamir has had a huge burden of responsibility as the leader of the household. His father was such a big name in his country. But he’s trained every day and for him to get that winner, I’m delighted."

Cohen’s tribute earned him a booking from referee Mike Jones, who was roundly booed, but Coyle had no complaints.

He added: "Referees are charged with a set of rules and the referee is not to understand the emotion of what happened. What I would say is, if he’s going to score the winner every week, I’ll take a yellow card for Tamir every week."