Bolton Wanderers 1-2 Sunderland

  • May 07, 2011 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/ce193

Bolton's six-game unbeaten home run came to an end as a stoppage time own goal from Zat Knight gave Sunderland a 2-1 victory at the Reebok Stadium.

Bolo Zenden gave the visitors the lead on the stroke of half time after rounding goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen and slotting the ball into the empty net.

Ivan Klasnic looked to have salvaged a point for Wanderers when he headed beyond Simon Mignolet with three minutes remaining, only for Knight to put through his own goal three minutes into added time as he attempted to clear a Sulley Muntari strike.

Both sides were slow out of the blocks, with Zenden's eighth minute free-kick the only real chance of note. In a central position, 25-yards from goal, the Dutch midfielder curled his effort just over the crossbar.

That seemed to spark the hosts into life and when Kevin Davies played Matt Taylor clean through on 11 minutes, he would have opened the scoring had it not been for the quick reactions of the Sunderland goalkeeper.

Daniel Sturridge saw claims for a penalty turned down on 19 minutes when he fell over his own feet inside the area, moments before Johan Elmander dragged a free-kick wide of the target from fully 30 yards.

After a brief spell on the back foot, Sunderland pressed forward and should have taken the lead on 24 minutes, only for Phil Bardsley to head over the crossbar when found unmarked six yards from goal.

Sturridge saw a close range shot blocked by John Mensah soon afterwards, before Zenden tested Jaaskelainen at the other end with a low shot which brought a good save out of the Finn, who was recalled to the side following last weekend's defeat at Blackburn Rovers.

With a little over five minutes remaining until the break, Sturridge worked himself into a yard of space, before seeing a shot deflect off Bardsley and come back off the crossbar.

Davies, Elmander and Taylor all saw shots blocked, before the visitors broke to the other end of the field and scored the opening goal with virtually the last kick of the half.

A through ball from Stephane Sessegnon allowed Zenden a clear run on goal and after he had rounded Jaaskelainen, he stroked the ball into the empty net from an acute angle.

In a bid to get his side playing a more attacking style in the second half, Trotters boss Owen Coyle made a substitution at the break, with Ricardo Gardner replacing Fabrice Muamba.

Despite the change, it was the Black Cats who had the first chance, as Sessegnon brought a good low stop out of Jaaskelainen.

Lee Chung-Yong had the ball in the net for Bolton a couple of minutes later, but his header was ruled out for offside.

The hosts kept up their pressure and almost levelled in the 51st minute when Gardner fed Sturridge, only for the on-loan Chelsea forward to see his curling effort roll agonisingly wide of Mignolet's far post.

Taylor fired a strike over the bar five minutes later, before Sturridge sent a shot wide from a Chung-Yong free-kick just moments later.

Bolton kept up the pressure and should have been ahead midway through the second half. After Sturridge saw a goalbound shot blocked on the line, the ball fell kindly for Chung-Yong, who could only succeed in volleying over the crossbar from six yards when it looked easier to score.

If any team looked likely to score as the game entered it's final ten minutes, it was Bolton. Rodrigo, on as a subsitute for Chung-Yong, tested Mignolet with a fierce strike from the edge of the box, before Elmander wasted an opportunity after working his way beyond the Sunderland defence on the right flank.

After spending most of the second half trying to break their opponents down, Wanderers eventually pulled level on 87 minutes, as Rodrigo's superb cross from the left was headed back across goal and into the bottom corner by Klasnic.

The home supporters were now in fine voice, pushing their team on for the win and it almost came as the game entered stoppage time as Rodrigo picked out Davies in the middle, only for his volley to be superbly cleared off the line by Bardsley.

Bardsley was given a pat on the back by the Sunderland goalkeeper and defenders as he looked to have earned his side a point. Then, just a minute later, the ball was in the net, as one point dramatically turned into three for the visitors.

After being played in by Sessegnon, Muntari held off the challenge of Steinsson before firing through the legs of Jaaskelainen and seeing the ball go in off the unfortunate Knight.

Bolton Wanderers: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Cahill, Knight, Robinson, Chung-Yong (Rodrigo 76), Elmander, Muamba (Gardner 46), Taylor (Klasnic 76), K Davies, Sturridge
Subs Not Used: Bogdan, Petrov, Cohen, Wheater
Booked: K Davies
Goals: Klasnic 87

Sunderland: Mignolet, Elmohamady, Onuoha, Ferdinand, Bardsley, Henderson, Colback, Mensah, Malbranque (Muntari 82), Zanden, Sessegnon
Subs Not Used: Carson, Riveros, Knott, Noble, Adams, Lynch
Goals: Zenden 45, Knight 90(og)

Referee: Kevin Friend
Attendance: 22,597

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Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
20 Southend United 0 0
21 Sunderland 0 0
22 Tranmere Rovers 0 0
23 Wycombe Wanderers 0 0
24 Bolton Wanderers 0 -12
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