Black Cats steal Bolton win
Muntari's late strike wins game at Reebok
Last Updated: May 7, 2011 5:47pm
Sulley Muntari secures three vital points with stoppage time winner
Sunderland secured only their fourth away win of the season thanks to a dramatic late Premier League victory against Bolton.
Substitute Sulley Muntari's late strike from an acute angle was turned into his own net by defender Zat Knight.
The Ghanaian international latched on to a through ball from Stephane Sessegnon to secure the points, much to the delight of the travelling support, to end Bolton's run of five straight home victories in the top flight.
Bolo Zenden made the breakthrough for the Black Cats on the stroke of half-time.
The Dutchman was sent clear by Sessegnon's through ball before rounding goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen with the home side appealing in vain for offside.
Bolton had been in control until then with Daniel Sturridge seeing his left-foot curler come back off the crossbar after being deflected by Phil Bardsley.
Despite second-half pressure from Wanderers, it looked as though the visitors would hold on.
However, three minutes from the end Ivan Klasnic popped up at the back post to meet Rodrigo Moreno's wonderful left-foot cross to restore parity.
But Steve Bruce's side were not to be denied thanks to the late winner deep into the four minutes of added time for only their second win in 12 Premier League games.
Zenden, 34, looked up for it right from the start and early on curled a free-kick over the bar.
Bolton, however, came close to opening the scoring in the 11th minute when Kevin Davies set up Matt Taylor with a clever reverse ball. It seemed Taylor must score - only for goalkeeper Simon Mignolet to make a superb point-blank save.
The Trotters swept forward again eight minutes later and Sturridge went down in the area following a challenge by John Mensah - but referee Kevin Friend allowed play to continue.
Johan Elmander then dragged a free-kick wide of the post for Bolton, before Bardsley escaped his marker but headed wide after being set up by Jordan Henderson.
The home side maintained the momentum and Sturridge carved out an opening for himself in the 26th minute - but Mensah made the clearance.
Play switched back down the other end and Zenden tried his luck on goal, only for Jaaskelainen to save with a degree of comfort.
It was brief respite and Bardsley scrambled away a shot in the 38th minute from Lee Chung-yong after he had been set up by Gary Cahill.
Bolton almost made the breakthrough a minute later when Sturridge's effort came off Bardsley and rattled the bar.
Davies reacted quickly only for his effort to be turned around the post and the visitors breathed a sigh of relief.
Sunderland had another scare a minute before half-time when Mignolet spilled a shot from Taylor and Sturridge homed in - but Anton Ferdinand cleared.
The visitors went ahead in first-half stoppage-time when Zenden skipped around Jaaskelainen to score his first goal of the season after being set up by Sessegnon, with Bolton appealing in vain for offside.
Sunderland almost extended their lead a minute into the second half when Sessegnon forced a good save out of Jaaskelainen.
Bolton responded in the 50th minute with Sturridge firing a shot narrowly wide of the post after being set up by Gardner.
Six minutes later Taylor got into a good position after being released by Davies but failed to test Mignolet, his effort going over the bar.
Sunderland were not content to sit on their lead and kept looking for openings, while the Bolton supporters were becoming increasingly frustrated at their team's inability to break the visitors down.
They should have done so in the 66th minute but Lee failed to find the target from close range after Bardsley had diverted Sturridge's goalbound effort.
Bolton came close to equalising again in the 80th minute when substitute Rodrigo carved a path through Sunderland's defence but saw his shot beaten away by Mignolet.
Bolton appeared to have salvaged a point in the 87th minute when Rodrigo delivered a superb ball to the back post and Klasnic, who had also stepped off the bench, headed the ball into the far corner.However, after Rodrigo had almost scored a stoppage-time winner for the hosts, Muntari made the decisive breakthrough for Sunderland after he had been set up by Sessegnon.
|Bolton Wanderers||Team Statistics||Sunderland|
|0||1st Half Goals||1|
|4||Shots on Target||4|
|10||Shots off Target||5|
Barclays Premier League
|15||West Bromwich Albion||15||15|
|17||West Ham United||15||13|