Manchester United 2 Bolton 1

Manchester United ominously returned to the top of the Premier League with a 2-1 win over Bolton Wanderers at Old Trafford overtaking title rivals Chelsea who slipped up against Aston Villa.

However, United again failed to impress against a team from the Premier League's virtual second tier and only a pointblank miss from Bolton defender Gary Cahill at the death saw Sir Alex Ferguson's side secure all three points.

Just like the game against Sunderland two weeks ago United started well and took a 2-0 lead before going into their shell and producing the type of lacklustre second half performance which is sure to have angered Ferguson.

With Wayne Rooney out injured Michael Owen started alongside Dimitar Berbatov upfront for United and the decision paid off almost straight away when Owen saw his glancing header deflect off Zak Knight past Jussi Jaaskelainen in the Bolton goal.

Antonio Valencia doubled the home side's lead with his first goal since arriving at Old Trafford in the summer for £16m. The Ecuadorian emphatically finished off a flowing move started by the fit again Gary Neville.

Owen spurned a number of gilt-edged chances either side of the break much to the chagrin of the home supporters and the former Liverpool striker's profligacy in front of goal looked like it could be costly when Matt Taylor pulled a goal back for Bolton on 75 minutes.

With United looking nervous and tentative at the back it seemed just a matter of time before Wanderers levelled the score. However, when the highly rated Cahill fluffed his lines with the goal at his mercy the result and the win were United's.

Manchester United v Bolton Wanderers

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