It was left terribly late and Manchester United made it difficult for themselves before overcoming Bolton with a Dimitar Berbatov winner after 88 minutes but while it was far from a brilliant display, United picked up a brilliant three points as title challengers Arsenal were held to a 2-2 draw at relegation threatened West Brom. It looked as if United were going to have to settle for a costly scoreless draw after defender Jonny Evans was sent off with 12 minutes remaining but they kept pushing forward looking for a winner and it finally came right at the death. It turned out to be a great afternoon for United with both Arsenal and Tottenham dropping what could turn out to be crucial points with one or both of Chelsea and Manchester City doing the same on Sunday in their meeting at Stamford Bridge.
Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed he had lost Wes Brown to injury at half time, a problem that, given the introduction of Fabio at right back, required Berbatov’s arrival too to combat Bolton’s added height. “We have two weeks now to try and patch up the injuries” he said “that is the biggest break we have. We should have Nemanja Vidic back for the West Ham game and also Darren Fletcher. I would love to have been able to bring Park Ji sung on today too” Sir Alex must be relishing the international break which could not have come at a better time for United.
Manchester United 1 v Bolton 0
BBC Sport – Dimitar Berbatov’s late goal gave 10-man Manchester United victory over Bolton and took their lead at the top of the Premier League to five points. In a first half of few chances, Javier Hernandez shot wide and Martin Petrov hit a free-kick at Edwin van der Sar. Home defender Jonny Evans was shown a straight red card in the second half for a lunge on Stuart Holden.
But Berbatov gave United the points by bundling home after Jussi Jaaskelainen failed to hold Nani’s shot. The Bulgarian’s last-gasp strike, coupled with Arsenal’s 2-2 draw at West Brom, allowed United to restore a cushion at the top of the table that had been damaged by defeats at Chelsea and Liverpool Full Report
Bolton News – Dimitar Berbatov’s late winner for 10-manManchester United ended Wanderers’ brave resistance at Old Trafford. The substitute pounced on Jussi Jaaskelainen’s mistake after the Bolton goalkeeper spilt Nani’s low shot with just two minutes of normal time remaining.
Owen Coyle’s side looked to be on course for a richly deserved point when Jonny Evans was sent off for a studs-up challenge on Stuart Holden on 76 minutes, with the influential American stretchered off with a deep gash on his knee. But Berbatov struck on Jaaskelainen’s blunder to end Wanderers’ six-game unbeaten run Full Report
Manchester Evening News – Substitute Dimitar Berbatov snatched a crucial late goal for 10-man Manchester United against Bolton at Old Trafford. The Reds looked like they were heading for a draw after defender Jonny Evans was sent off after 76 minutes, but they rallied to produced a trademark thrilling finish.
Berbatov, a half-time replacement for Javier Hernadez, pounced on a mistake from Bolton goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen to grab the goal with just two minutes of normal time remaining. Arsenal could only draw at West Brom which means United have stretched their lead at the top of the Premier League to five points Full Report
Manchester United – Van der Sar, Brown (Fabio 45), Smalling, Evans (Red Card 76), Evra, Valencia, Carrick, Giggs, Nani, Rooney, Hernandez (Berbatov 45) GOAL – Berbatov 87mts
Bolton Wanderers – Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Cahill, Wheater, Robinson, Elmamder, Muamba (Klasnic 89), Holden (Taylor 78), Petrov, Davies, Sturridge (Lee Chung-Yong 60)