Bolton Wanderers 2-0 Manchester City

  • November 02, 2008 | By Chris Mann
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Ricardo Gardner scored his first league goal since Boxing Day 2002 as Bolton recorded a 2-0 victory over Manchester City at the Reebok Stadium.

The win, which moves Bolton out of the relegation zone, was their first at home since the opening day of the season and eases the pressure on manager Gary Megson.

City began the game brightly and almost took the lead inside six minutes when record signing Robinho shot inches over Jussi Jaaskelainen's crossbar.

Wanderers were slowly getting a foothold in the game and Fabrice Muamba was the first to try his luck for the hosts, but he shot over from fully 30 yards with 22 minutes on the clock.

Five minutes before the break, the visitors had a great opportunity to break the deadlock when Stephen Ireland was played in by Ched Evans.

Ireland found himself clean through on goal, but Jaaskelainen, making his 400th appearance for Bolton, smothered his shot and the danger was averted.

Mustapha Riga was forced off the field just before the break after he picked up a knock following a strong challenge from City captain Richard Dunne, with Gardner replacing the summer signing.

Jaaskelainen had to be alert right on the stroke of half-time to deny Evans. After good approach play from Shaun Wright-Phillips, the Welshman headed straight at the Finn.

Just as they did in the first half, City began the second period brightly and Wright-Phillips tried his luck just five minutes in, but his effort flew into the visiting support behind the goal.

Robinho went close to breaking the deadlock just before the hour, but after cutting in from the left, his curling effort was superbly saved by Jaaskelainen.

Moments later, the ball was at the other end and the hosts were unlucky not to take the lead. Wanderers skipper Kevin Nolan was denied by Joe Hart from close range, before his cross was plucked out of the air by Hart.

Bolton thought they should have had a penalty from their next attack, but referee Mike Riley ignored the protests after Matt Taylor went down under the challenge of Dunne.

With 13 minutes remaining, the deadlock was broken and it came from the most unlikeliest of goalscorers.

Running onto a neat through ball from Nolan, Gretar Steinsson's cross fizzed across the six-yard box for Gardner to score off the underside of the crossbar.

City had a great chance to equalise minutes later, but a superb challenge from Jlloyd Samuel denied Robinho what looked to be a certain goal.

With just three minutes of normal time remaining, the game was over as Bolton recorded their first win in four.

Gardner picked up possession on the left flank and after working his way into the area, his low cross was put into his own net by Dunne, who was under pressure from Kevin Davies.

As referee Riley blew for full-time, you could feel the relief around the Reebok Stadium as Bolton moved out of the bottom three.

Next up for the Trotters is a visit to Premier League new-boys Hull City where they will face former Wanderers favourite Phil Brown for the very first time.

Bolton Wanderers: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Cahill, A O'Brien, Samuel, Riga (Gardner 43), McCann, Nolan, Muamba, Taylor, Davies
Subs Not Used: Al Habsi, Hunt, Smolarek, Helguson, Shittu, Basham
Booked: Jaaskelainen
Goals: Gardner 77, Dunne 88(og)

Manchester City: Hart, Zabaleta, Dunne, Ben Haim, Richards, Wright-Phillips, Kompany, Ireland, Elano (Hamann 69), Evans (Sturridge 69), Robinho
Subs Not Used: Schmeichel, Onuoha, Garrido, Fernandes, Caidedo
Booked: Zabaleta

Attendance: 21,095
Referee: Mike Riley

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Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
19 Rochdale 32 33
20 AFC Wimbledon 33 31
21 Tranmere Rovers 31 23
22 Southend United 33 16
23 Bolton Wanderers 30 11
View Full Standings >>


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