Saturday, 7 May 2011

Bolton Wanderers 1 Sunderland 2

Bolton Wanderers 1

Klasnic 87

Sunderland 2

Zenden 45, Muntari 90+2

“We needed a bit of luck,” said Sunderland manager Steve Bruce afterwards. They certainly got it because as his Bolton counterpart Owen Coyle summed up succinctly the home side “missed a host of gilt edged chances.”

Not that there was anything fortunate about the away side’s injury time winner with Stephane Sessegnon slipping a superb pass beyond Gretar Steinsson where substitute Sully Muntari hit a precise powerful shot beyond keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen and the despairing dive of Zat Knight. Queue ecstatic celebrations amongst the 4,000 travelling army behind the goal as Sunderland grabbed their fourth away victory of the season.

Bolton had fashioned an equaliser with just three minutes remaining when their two substitutes combined with Ivan Klasnic accurately heading Rodrigo’s cross past Simon Mignolet. They should then have won the match but after Mignolet had kept out Rodrigo’s effort, Phil Bardsley somehow touched Kevin Davies five-yard shot over the bar. 

The Wearsiders had taken the lead on the stroke of half-time when the unimpressive Gary Cahill foolishly appealed for offside allowing Bolo Zenden to move onto Sessegnon’s fine through ball and advance thirty yards before taking the ball round Jaaskelainen and plonking it into the back of the net.

Bolton had earlier hit the bar through Daniel Sturridge, who in the second half did poorly with two penalty box opportunities, and might have taken an earlier lead through Matt Taylor whose close range effort was smartly blocked by Mignolet.

For Sunderland Bardsley should have done better but left unmarked he headed Jordan Henderson’s free kick over the bar from six yards. That was also the distance that C Y Lee managed to miss from for Bolton on 74 minutes and although the home side did finally grab the equaliser they deserved it was Sunderland’s never say die spirit that won out at the end.

Celebrating Sunderland fans at the end of the match 

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