Park strikes late as United scramble past Wolves

LONDON, (Reuters) – With the clock ticking towards  full-time Park Ji-sung rescued Manchester United with a superb  winner to give the ailing home side a fortunate 2-1 win over  Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League on yesterday.

The workaholic South Korea midfielder, whose first-half  effort had been cancelled out by Wolves substitute Sylvan  Ebanks-Blake, drifted in from the right in the 93rd minute and  planted a shot past helpless ’keeper Marcus Hahnemann.

It raised the roof at Old Trafford and spared United a sixth  draw as they try and stay on the tail of leaders Chelsea whose  lead in the title race has now been cut to two points.

United’s last-gasp victory was soured, however, by the sight  of former England midfielder Owen Hargreaves limping off five  minutes into his first start for more than two years.

Unbeaten United moved above Arsenal into second spot with 23  points from 11 games. Chelsea, who play Liverpool today,  have 25 while Arsenal have 20 but would move back above United  on goal difference if they beat Newcastle United also today.

There were late goals too at the Reebok Stadium where  Tottenham Hotspur fell to earth after their exhilarating midweek  Champions League win over Inter Milan, losing 4-2 to Bolton  Wanderers who climbed above the London club into fifth.

Kevin Davies scored twice for Bolton as they led 3-0 after  76 minutes before Tottenham gave themselves hope with stunning  strikes by Alan Hutton and Roman Pavlyuchenko. Martin Petrov  eventually killed off the visitors.

Bottom club West Ham United squandered a 2-0 lead at  Birmingham City to draw 2-2 while Blackpool and Everton also  shared four goals.

Asamoah Gyan’s double gave Sunderland a 2-0 home win over  Stoke City while Fulham equalised late in a 1-1 draw with  visiting Aston Villa. Blackburn Rovers beat Wigan Athletic 2-1.

Poor display

Manchester United welcomed back Hargreaves after the  Canadian-born player’s battle with chronic tendinitis in both  knees but his appearance was short-lived as he hobbled off with  a hamstring strain after a run down the right flank.

It set the tone for a poor United display and Wolves, who  also conceded a late winner in their League Cup defeat by United  last month, will feel unlucky not to have taken a point.

With Michael Carrick and Dimitar Berbatov having fallen  victim to an illness that swept United’s training ground this  week, Nani injured and Wayne Rooney heading for the United  States to continue his rehabilitation from injury, the hosts  were toothless in attack and indebted to the lively Park.

“Right on halftime and right on the final whistle are  amazing times to score,” said United manager Alex Ferguson,  whose team’s trademark over the years has been late goals.

“But Ji’s in great form actually, he’s been one of our best  players in recent weeks,” he told MUTV.

United had offered little before Park moved on to a  defence-splitting pass by Darren Fletcher and finished with  deadly accuracy in the 45th minute.

It failed to inspire the home side, though, and they looked  uncomfortable against a lively Wolves outfit.


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