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United held to Bolton stalemate
26 Sep 2010 - 13:58:46
Substitute Michael Owen salvaged a point as Manchester United twice came from behind to draw 2-2 draw with Bolton Wanderers at the Reebok Stadium.
United looked as if they might follow title rivals Chelsea and Arsenal in losing on a weekend of Premier League shocks when they trailed 2-1 to the Trotters midway through the second half.
Zat Knight had prodded Bolton ahead in the sixth minute of an entertaining encounter when he reacted first to beat Jonny Evans to a corner.
It was Bolton's first attack of a game which the visitors had started strongly.
Nani brought United level with a classy strike with 23 minutes on the clock.
The Portugal winger picked up the ball on the halfway line and ran past three defenders before beating Jussi Jaaskelainen with a low shot into the bottom corner of the net.
The visitors continued to enjoy the lion's share of possession either side of half-time but Bolton looked always dangerous on the counter-attack.
For all United's possession, Wayne Rooney and the in-form Dimitar Berbatov struggled to gain much of a foothold in the game.
Bolton made them pay for that lack of cutting edge as Martin Petrov fired them back into the lead in the 67th minute.
Johan Elmander played in the former Manchester City winger and he found the back of Edwin van der Saar's net when his right-foot shot from 12 yards deflected past the Dutch keeper off Darren Fletcher.
With Ryan Giggs having limped off with a worrying hamstring problem, Rooney was hauled off soon after and Owen entered the fray.
Owen's first touch was a lovely glancing header which looped over Jaaskelainen and found the top corner of the net for the 200th club goal of his career.
Both sides had chances to win the game with Elmander a constant thorn in the side of the United defence and Nani involved in all of his side's most dangerous moments.
But an entertaining encounter ended with honours even and United up one place to second in the Premier League table, three points behind leaders Chelsea.