After the amounts Mohamed Al-Fayed spent on securing Fulham’s place in the Premiership were revealed with the club posting a record financial loss of more than £23m this morning, Jean Tigana’s players proved the Egyptian’s investment was worthwhile as they recorded a comfortable victory over Bolton Wanderers to make mathematically certain of their top flight status.

Bjarne Goldbaek settled any lingering nerves by punishing a poor punch from Juusi Jaaskelainen to rifle home his first goal of a frustrating season and give Fulham the lead against the run of play. Bolton could have gone in front inside the opening sixty seconds had an alert Edwin van der Sar not denied Fredi Bobic and the visitors had the better of the first half an hour. Paul Durkin waved away strong Wanderers shouts for a penalty when Sylvain Legwinski appeared to have upended Kevin Nolan in the area – and that fortunate escape appeared to rouse the home side from their slumber.

Barry Hayles almost gave Fulham the lead six minutes before the interval with a clever chip that crashed against the crossbar, before Goldbaek drilled the Whites in front as Tigana’s side finally started to up the tempo. But Bolton might still have gone in level at half time if it wasn’t for van der Sar, who produced a brilliant reaction save to block another Bobic effort right on the break.

The Fulham boss admitted he had given his side a stern talking to at half time, reminding them of the standards that he has demanded ever since taking over two summers ago. The hosts were much more assertive in the second half and Goldbaek nearly added his second of the evening after a flowing Fulham move but Jaaskelainen redeemed himself with a smart save. Sean Davis had some atoning to do as well, having been found guilty of drinking driving and fined by the club earlier in a busy day at the Cottage, but the England under-21 international was allowed to push for repentance on the pitch and nearly made it 2-0 when his audacious lob only just cleared the Bolton bar.

Substitute Steve Marlet, whose first campaign in England has been underwhelming considering he cost £11.5m, showed a glimpse of that continental class by curling a sumptuous second goal around Jaaskelainen from outside the box fourteen minutes after stepping off the bench. Hayles then gave the scoreline a far more resounding look four minutes later with an emphatic finish from close range after superb work from Steed Malbranque.

The Whites could have added further goals in the closing stages with both Malbranque and Marlet kept out by a busy Jaaskelainen, but the home faithful celebrated buoyantly as the Whites ensured that they would not be dragged into a relegation fight that loomed large after a disappointing second half of the season.

FULHAM (4-4-2): van der Sar; Finnan, Brevett, Melville, Goma; Davis (Collins 81), Legwinski, Goldbaek, Malbranque; Saha (Marlet 58), Hayles. Subs (not used): Taylor, Knight, Stolcers.

GOALS: Goldbaek (42), Marlet (72), Hayles (76).

BOLTON WANDERERS (4-4-2): Jaaskelainen; Barness, Charlton, Bergsson, N’Gotty; Southall (Espartero 67), Frandsen, Nolan, Djorkaeff; Wallace (Ricketts 74), Bobic (Dean Holdsworth 75). Subs (not used): Poole, Konstantidis.

REFEREE: Paul Durkin (Dorset).