Man U beats Bolton to extend lead

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Man U beats Bolton to extend lead

LONDON - Manchester United moved five points clear at the top of the Premier League thanks to a late winner in a 1-0 victory against Bolton on Saturday, while second-place Arsenal only managed a 2-2 draw with West Bromwich Albion.

United was reduced to 10 men following Jonny Evans’ sending off in the 76th minute for a horrible challenge that left Bolton’s American midfielder with a large gash on his knee and an appointment at a local hospital. Substitute Dimitar Berbatov capitalized on Bolton goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen’s error to grab the winning goal in the 88th minute for his 20th Premier League goal of the season.

Arsenal, which has a game in hand, scored twice in the final 20 minutes, through Andrey Arshavin and Robin van Persie, to claim a point at the Hawthorns but lost ground in its title challenge.

Fifth-place Tottenham’s push for a top-four finish was hampered by drawing 0-0 at home with West Ham, which climbed out of the relegation zone with its share of the points.

Wigan won 2-1 at home to Birmingham, which dropped to second from bottom, but the Latics remained bottom by a point. Wolverhampton stayed in the relegation zone despite its 1-0 victory over Midlands rivals Aston Villa.

In a congested lower half of the table only three points separate the bottom eight teams.

In other results, Blackburn scored a late equalizer to draw 2-2 at home to Blackpool and Stoke thrashed midtable rivals Newcastle 4-0.

United manager Alex Ferguson watched his side get out of jail from the stands, as he was serving the first match of a five-game touchline ban for criticizing a referee earlier this month.

Matt Taylor missed a close-range header for Bolton that would have put the visitors in front and Berbatov made them pay by taking advantage of Jaaskelainen’s inability to hold a long shot from Nani to slot the rebound into an empty net.

Arsenal gave renewed hope to Manchester City and Chelsea, who play each other at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, of a second-place finish by dropping two more points in the title race.

Steven Reid and Peter Odemwingie scored either side of the break to give West Brom a two-goal lead but Arshavin started Arsenal’s comeback in the 70th minute and Van Persie equalized eight minutes later.

“I am disappointed we dropped two points but it was psychologically important for the rest of the season to show character and not lose the game,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said.

City is five points behind Arsenal, with Chelsea a further two back. Tottenham is two points behind Chelsea. Liverpool, who still have to play Manchester city, Arsenal and Tottenham, are sitting in 6th place and still have an outside chance of finishing in the top 4.


AP


Related Korean Article[일간스포츠]

맨유, 볼튼에 신승…베르바토프 결승골

잉글랜드 프로축구 맨체스터 유나이티드(이하 맨유)가 볼턴 원더러스(이하 볼턴)와의 맞대결에서 힘겨운 승리를 거뒀다. 부상에서 회복한 맨유의 박지성(30)은 벤치를 지켰고, 볼턴의 이청용(23)은 후반 교체 출장했다.

맨유는 20일(한국시간) 새벽 영국 맨체스터 소재 올드 트래포드에서 열린 볼턴과의 2010-2011시즌 잉글랜드 프리미어리그 30라운드 경기서 후반43분에 터진 공격수 디미타르 베르바토프()의 결승골에 힘입어 1-0으로 승리했다. 이로써 올 시즌 18승(9무3패)째를 거둔 맨유는 승점63점을 기록, 1위를 지켰다. 2위 아스널(승점 58점)이 웨스트 브러미치와의 원정 경기서 2-2로 비겨 승점 격차는 5점으로 벌어졌다.

흐름은 홈 팀 맨유가 주도했다. 볼 점유율을 높이며 주도권을 잡았고, 유리한 분위기 속에서 경기를 진행했다. 주포 웨인 루니(26)를 필두로 한 공격진의 움직임도 원활했다. 원정팀 볼턴은 집중도 높은 역습으로 맞섰다. 상대의 돌파를 협력수비로 적절히 끊어낸 뒤 빠르고 효과적인 카운터어택으로 반격했다. 맨유 미드필드진과 포워드진의 발을 묶는 압박 전술 완성도 또한 높았다. 맨유 수비수 조니 에반스(23)가 후반31분께 볼턴 미드필더 스튜어트 홀든(26)에게 거친 파울을 범했다가 퇴장 당한 이후엔 볼턴의 볼 점유율도 눈에 띄게 높아졌다.

승부는 후반 막판 집중력의 차이에서 갈렸다. 볼턴이 결정적인 찬스를 몇 차례 놓치며 수적 우세를 제대로 활용하지 못하는 사이에 맨유가 결승골을 터뜨리며 상황을 정리했다. 후반43분께 미드필더 루이스 나니()의 슈팅을 볼턴 골키퍼가 막아내자 베르바토프가 뛰어들며 재차 골로 연결시켰다.

기대했언 '코리언 더비'는 성사되지 못했다. 컴백 여부로 인해 관심을 모은 박지성이 교체 명단에 이름을 올렸지만 줄곧 벤치에 머물렀다. 이청용은 후반15분 대니얼 스터리지(22)를 대신해 교체 출장했고 ,후반 종료시까지 그라운드를 누볐다.

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