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Saturday, 20 October, 2001, 16:01 GMT 17:01 UK
Ricketts snatches Bolton win
Kevin Nolan
Nolan volleyed home spectacularly to silence home fans
Manchester United 1-2 Bolton
E-mail your reaction to Football Talk

Bolton recorded a famous victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford as the Premiership champions slumped to their second home defeat in a week.

Sam Allardyce was given the perfect birthday present as Michael Ricketts and Kevin Nolan scored the goals to give Bolton all three points.

Juan Sebastian Veron had given United the lead with a brilliantly-taken free-kick midway through the first half.

But Bolton displayed great determination to pull level and then snatch a late winner.

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson made eight changes to the side that lost 3-2 to Deportivo La Coruna in midweek.

There is no better feeling, apart from watching my children being born - it is my best result as a manager
Sam Allardyce

Fabien Barthez retained his place in goal despite his two blunders in the Champions League game.

And the Frenchman's nerve was tested early on when he was forced to come out of his area to clear the threat of a Bolton attack.

Allardyce's side acquitted themselves well in the opening stages, with Ricketts doing a fine job leading the Bolton line as the lone striker.

United were missing both Ryan Giggs and David Beckham, so much of their play went through the midfield duo of Veron and captain for the day, Paul Scholes.

  Key moments
25 mins: Juan Sebastian Veron scores with an unstoppable free-kick
35 mins: Kevin Nolan strikes a thunderous shot past Barthez
84 mins: Michael Ricketts fires Bolton's winner

The home side produced some intricate football when perhaps a more direct approach would have been more effective.

And so it proved as United took the lead from an unstoppable Veron free-kick on 25 minutes.

The Argentine star took advantage of Beckham's absence and left Bolton keeper Jussi Jaaskelaien with no chance with a superb 30-yard right-foot curler.

Yet Bolton did not buckle as so many have at Old Trafford after conceding a United goal.

The Premiership newcomers stuck to their game plan, which paid dividends 10 minutes before the interval.

Target man Ricketts provided the perfect head down to team-mate Nolan, who unleashed a thunderous volley past the diving Barthez.

Juan Sebastian Veron
Veron firmly on target

United's response was typically immediate. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer found the back of the Bolton net but his goal was ruled out for offside.

And Jaaskelainen soon proved Bolton's saviour with a brilliant double save, first to deny Scholes and then Andy Cole.

Bolton, buoyed by their first-half display, took the game to United after the break.

My day has been spoiled by my little football team - I thought we looked lethargic and lacked spark
Sir Alex Ferguson

They were unlucky not to be awarded a penalty when Wes Brown seemed to clip Per Frandsen's heels in the area.

The United defence were then fortunate not to be punished further as Ricketts and Ricardo Gardner both went close.

Giggs and Luke Chadwick were introduced to bring some much-needed width to the United line-up.

But it was Bolton who took the lead with six minutes to go.

Brown, who had been impeccable throughout, hesitated and was then the victim of an unfortunate ricochet that allowed Ricketts to lift the ball over Barthez.

It was no less than Ricketts and Bolton deserved for their endeavour as they claimed another impressive Premiership scalp.

E-mail your reaction to Football Talk:
Man Utd fans
here | Bolton fans here

Man Utd: Barthez, Phil Neville, May, Brown, Silvestre, Solskjaer, Scholes, Veron, Butt, Yorke, Cole. Subs: Carroll, Gary Neville, Giggs, Chadwick, Stewart.

Bolton: Jaaskelainen, N'Gotty, Bergsson, Whitlow, Charlton, Hansen, Nolan, Warhurst, Frandsen, Gardner, Ricketts. Subs: Banks, Holdsworth, Wallace, Barness, Johnson.

Referee: G Barber (Tring).

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BBC Sport's Simon Brotherton
"A memorable day for Bolton"
Man Utd boss Alex Ferguson
"Bolton deserved to win"
Bolton boss Sam Allardyce
"A fantastic performance from everyone of the players"
Links to more Eng Prem stories are at the foot of the page.


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