Reebok Memories: Anelka Secures Win Over Man United

  • June 07, 2014 | By Chris Mann
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With the Reebok Stadium in the process of being transformed into the Macron Stadium, we look back at one of the most memorable days it has ever seen.

The start of the 2007/08 campaign had been a difficult one for Bolton, with Gary Megson replacing Sammy Lee in the manager's hotseat just a matter of weeks into the season.

By the time Manchester United came to town, on November 24, 2007, Wanderers had won just one of their opening 13 league games and occupied 18th place in the Premier League table - ahead of Wigan Athletic on goal difference and two points clear of Derby County.

The only thing keeping United off top-spot was their goals scored record, with league leaders Arsenal accumulating the same number of points and an identical goal difference record ahead of that weekend's fixture schedule.

Going into the game, Bolton hadn't beaten United on home soil since December 1978 - in a season where they completed a rare league double over their near neighbours. They had come close on a couple of occasions in previous years, but November 2007 was the month which saw them end their 29-year wait for a home victory over the Red Devils.

The only goal of the game arrived in the 11th minute, with the first real opportunity of the game. Ivan Campo's chipped free-kick caused havoc in the United defence. Gerard Pique misjudged the flight of the ball and was outmuscled by Nicolas Anelka, whose shot on the turn found the bottom corner of Edwin van der Sar's net.

United were unusually out-of-sorts, although Owen Hargreaves and Carlos Tevez both came close to pulling the visitors level as the first half wore on.

Sir Alex Ferguson was sent to the stands for the second half, after his protests to referee Mark Clattenburg pushed the match official too far. Ferguson was complaining about a number of challenges from Wanderers forward Kevin Davies that had gone unpunished - in a row which would eventually go on for a number of years.

Without their influential manager barking orders from the sidelines, United struggled to break down a resilient Bolton defence after the break. On the one occasion that they did get through, Patrice Evra's cross from the left was somehow turned wide of the post by Tevez from just one yard.

Hargreaves clipped the root of the net in stoppage time at the end of the game, but Bolton held on to claim a rare victory over their rivals and give Gary Megson his first win as Wanderers boss.

Bolton Wanderers: Jaaskelainen, Hunt, A O'Brien, Meite, Gardner, Campo, Diouf, Nolan (McCann 83), Guthrie (Wilhelmsson 74), Anelka, Davies (Speed 70)
Subs Not Used: Al Habsi, Michalik
Booked: Hunt, Nolan, Davies
Goals: Anelka 11

Manchester United: van der Sar, Brown (O'Shea 88), Pique (Anderson 59), Evra, Ferdinand, Nani, Carrick, Giggs, Hargreaves, Saha, Tevez
Subs Not Used: Kuszczak, Eagles, Fletcher

Referee: Mark Clattenburg
Attendance: 25,028

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
1 Peterborough United 2 6
2 Exeter City 2 4
3 Bolton Wanderers 2 4
4 Sheffield Wednesday 2 4
5 Accrington Stanley 2 4
View Full Standings >>


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