Bolton Wanderers 0-1 Manchester United

  • January 17, 2009 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton remain without a win in five after a late goal from Dimitar Berbatov gave Manchester United a 1-0 victory at the Reebok Stadium.

The game looked to be heading for a goalless draw, but a late defensive lapse allowed United to take all three points and move to the top of the Premier League table.

Neither side really threatened in the opening exchanges, with Bolton restricting the visitors to long range efforts.

Ronaldo had the first real chance of the game with less than 20 minutes on the clock, but he headed straight at Jussi Jaaskelainen.

Bolton's new loan signing Ariza Makukula was booked midway through the half for barging Nemanja Vidic to the floor after the ball had gone.

Fabrice Muamba had the host's first chance, with his shot from fully 30 yards forcing Edwin van der Sar to concede a corner.

Next up, Ronaldo had an opportunity from one of his trademark free-kicks, but after beating the ball, Jaaskelainen pulled off a smart stop to push the ball round the post.

That seemed to spark the game into life and Anderson was next to try his luck for Sir Alex Ferguson's side, but he too found Jaaskelainen waiting.

Bolton looked stronger after the break and Kevin Davies thought he had opened the scoring but his header from a Jlloyd Samuel cross looped just over the crossbar.

Gretar Steinsson was causing problems down the right flank and he crossed for Makukula who was inches away from making contact with the ball and surely giving Wanderers a surprise lead.

Soon after, Jaaskelainen turned away yet another free-kick from Ronaldo, before Makukula cleared the ball from danger, but it was soon to be the end of the afternoon for the Portuguese forward as he limped off, being replaced by Temitope Obadeyi.

United Substitute Paul Scholes went close soon after being introduced, but saw his shot deflect wide off Gary Cahill.

Ronaldo saw yet another free-kick saved by Jaaskelainen with less than ten minutes to go, but for the second week running, Wanderers sucummed to a late goal.

Carlos Tevez managed to find a gap behind the Wanderers defence and crossed for Berbatov who headed past Jaaskelainen from six yards to hand United the points.

After three minutes of stoppage time, referee Andre Marriner called time, meaning United top the league for the first time this season, while Bolton remain in 12th.

With no game next weekend due to the FA Cup, Bolton return to action on Wednesday week then they face Blackburn Rovers and former manager Sam Allardyce at Ewood Park.

Bolton Wanderers: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Cahill, A O'Brien, Samuel, Davies, Basham, Muamba, Gardner (Puygrenier 83), Taylor, Makukula (Obadeyi 64)
Subs Not Used: Bogdan, Smolarek, Riga, Shittu, Sinclair
Booked: Makukula

Manchester United: Van der Sar, Neville, Vidic, Evans, O'Shea, Fletcher (Giggs 59), Carrick, Anderson (Scholes 69), Ronaldo, Tevez, Berbatov
Subs Not Used: Kuszczak, Park, Nani, Welbeck, Chester
Booked: O'Shea
Goals: Berbatov 90

Attendance: 26,021
Referee: Andre Marriner

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Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
19 Rochdale 34 36
20 AFC Wimbledon 35 35
21 Tranmere Rovers 34 32
22 Southend United 35 19
23 Bolton Wanderers 34 14
View Full Standings >>


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