Everton's Tim Cahill rues a missed opportunity as his team sit just three points clear of the relegation zone [AFP]

Daniel Sturridge may just well turn out to be one of the most lucrative signings of the January transfer window as he maintained his impressive scoring record for Bolton to inspire a 2-0 win over relegation-threatened Everton in the English Premier League on Sunday.

The England under-21 forward scored for the third straight match since joining on loan from champions Chelsea on transfer deadline day, smashing home a swerving finish in the 67th minute to seal Bolton's victory.

Sturridge, who was one of English football's great hopes when he came through the ranks at Manchester City, rarely featured at Chelsea following his move to Stamford Bridge in 2009, but appears to benefiting from the regular starts at Bolton.

"I'm just delighted to be playing regular football," said Sturridge

"The manager's instilled a lot of confidence in me, he's told me to go out and play my normal game and just show everybody what I'm about."

Confident start

Bolton had lost five of their previous seven league matches. Despite that disappointing run, the hosts looked confident enough early on and Gary Cahill was just off-target with a header from Matt Taylor's corner.

Everton had been warned about Bolton's ability from set-pieces but they failed to learn the lesson as Owen Coyle's men took the lead in the 10th minute.

Stuart Holden's free-kick picked out Gary Cahill and the England defender powered down a header that deflected off Everton defender John Heitinga and past wrong-footed goalkeeper Tim Howard.

Everton should have equalised in the 17th minute when Tim Cahill was left unmarked at the back post, but the Australian miscued his shot woefully wide following a cross from Leighton Baines.

Results & fixtures

Saturday February 12

 Man Utd 2-1 Man City
 
Arsenal 2-0 Wolves
 Birmingham 1-0 Stoke
 Blackburn 0-0 Newcastle
 Blackpool 1-1 Aston Villa
 Liverpool 1-1 Wigan
 West Brom 3-3 West Ham
 Sunderland 1-2 Tottenham

Sunday February 13

 Bolton 2-0 Everton

Monday February 14

 Fulham v Chelsea

Bolton were forced to make a substitution when defender Zat Knight fell awkwardly after tangling with Anichebe and was replaced by David Wheater.

Tim Cahill nearly took advantage of the Bolton reshuffle as he tested goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen from the edge of the area.

Threat

Everton threatened at the start of the second half when Marouane Fellaini was set up by Seamus Coleman but the midfielder sent his effort high and wide of the woodwork.

Tim Cahill was next to get into a good position as he volleyed over but Bolton went further ahead in the 67th minute.

South Korean Lee Chung-Yong, on as a substitute, threaded a pass through to Sturridge and he smashed his shot beyond Howard.

The hosts thought they had added a third when Holden smashed the ball into the roof of the net in the dying minutes but the linesman ruled that it had gone out of play in the build-up.

Bolton remain in eighth place in the standings on 36 points while Everton are struggling in 13th on 30, just three points clear of the relegation zone. 

Source: Agencies