Bolton Wanderers 2-2 Manchester United

  • September 26, 2010 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton twice led but were ultimately forced to accept a point after they drew 2-2 with Manchester United at the Reebok Stadium.

Zat Knight and Martin Petrov had given Wanderers the lead in either half, but goals from Nani and substitute Michael Owen pulled United level on both occasions in an entertaining affair.

United started the game the brighter and had their first effort with just two minutes on the clock. After being released beyond the Wanderers backline, Dimitar Berbatov shot first time from a wide angle, but sliced the chance wide of the target.

Bolton reacted smartly and when Lee Chung-Yong's shot was deflected behind for a corner on six minutes, Wanderers went in front through an unlikely scorer.

Petrov's outswinging corner was put into a dangerous area and Knight reacted quickest to put the ball into the far corner with the outside of his boot, giving Wanderers a surprise early lead.

United hit back immediately though and could have been level just three minutes later, only for Ryan Giggs to send a powerless shot straight into the arms of the returning Jussi Jaaskelainen in goal.

Jaaskelainen was alert to the danger once more moments later, as he flung himself low to his right to deny Darren Fletcher what looked like a certain equaliser. Wayne Rooney also tried an effort a couple of minutes later, only to find the Finn in fine form.

At the other end, Kevin Davies won a flicked header in the air and it fell invitingly for Elmander, but he couldn't get the touch that was required and United escaped right back up the field, pulling level as a result.

Picking up the ball inside his own half, Nani ran at a backtracking Wanderers defence. After shrugging off challenges from Stuart Holden and Sam Ricketts, he got a shot away and beat Jaaskelainen at his bottom corner.

Sir Alex Ferguson's side were now looking for the lead and had the chances to do so. First, Rooney curled an effort just over the crossbar, before Nemanja Vidic headed just wide from a corner in first half stoppage time.

The second half started quietly, with the visitors having the lion's share of the possession, but neither side creating any chances in the final third.

Rooney was replaced by Federico Macheda on the hour, minutes after Park Ji-Sung came on for an injured Giggs. The changes didn't have the impact that the visitors were hoping for and Wanderers went back in front midway through the half.

Inside his own half, Petrov picked out Chung-Yong with a superb switched ball. The South Korea international ran into the opposition half before finding Elmander, who laid it off to Petrov to cut inside and drill past Edwin van der Sar, with the aid of a deflection off Fletcher.

Then, just a couple of minutes later, Bolton should have had the points wrapped up. Elmander got on the wrong side of Vidic and with only the goalkeeper to beat, the Swede sent his strike over the crossbar and the chance was gone.

That miss proved to be costly as just two minutes later, United were up the other end and had the ball in the net. Getting on the end of a Nani free-kick, Owen, who had only been on the field a matter of minutes, rose highest in the box to send a looping header beyond Jaaskelainen, his 200th career league goal.

After fluffing his lines at 2-1, Elmander was presented with the opportunity to win it late on but, from a narrow angle, sent his shot just wide of van der Sar's left hand post and the game ended all square.

The result temporarily moves Wanderers into 11th in the Premier League, ahead of the later kick-off's on Sunday. Bolton return to action on Saturday when they visit West Bromwich Albion, who were victorious at Arsenal this weekend.

Bolton Wanderers: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Knight, Ricketts, Robinson, Chung-Yong (Blake 90), Holden, Muamba (M Davies 63), Petrov (Taylor 90), Elmander, K Davies
Subs Not Used: Bogdan, Klasnic, Rodrigo, Alonso
Booked: M Davies
Goals: Knight 6, Petrov 67

Manchester United: van der Sar, O'Shea, Vidic, Evans, Evra, Nani, Fletcher (Owen 71), Scholes, Giggs (Ji-Sung 53), Rooney (Macheda 61), Berbatov
Subs Not Used: Kuszczak, Anderson, Smalling, R da Silva
Booked: Scholes, Vidic
Goals: Nani 23, Owen 74

Attendance: 23,926
Referee: Phil Dowd

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
1 Accrington Stanley 0 0
2 Barnsley 0 0
3 Bolton Wanderers 0 0
4 Bristol Rovers 0 0
5 Burton Albion 0 0
View Full Standings >>


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