The time we beat Manchester United
Let`s look back at the 2007/08 season. While it was a poor league campaign, narrowly avoiding relegation after four successive eight finishes in the preceding years, it did offer one big result in particular.
Let`s be honest, we always craved a win over Manchester United in the top flight days. If you grew up in the late 90s and 2000s like myself, half your friends would have been part of the glory hunting lot, and they had the nerve to mock you for supporting your local team. When we won promotion under Sam Allardyce, we did achieve those back-to-back wins at Old Trafford. But a home win always seemed to prove elusive, with a late equaliser from them in 2004 being the closest we got under Big Sam.
Come November 2007, we had started to pass the peak, Allardyce had gone, the Sammy Lee experiment had been enough of a failure to have got quickly rid, and in was Gary Megson. While Megson will rightly be remembered as a muppet, his first season did see a few stand-out results. Just weeks after a 2-2 draw at Bayern, we hosted a United side who would go on to win the Premier League and Champions League that season. With us being a bit more solid since the change of manager, even if he hadn`t actually won a game yet, I remember being actually a little confident of getting something from this game.
United were without Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney but still had a fairly strong side with Carlos Tevez up front. We did however, have our own sharp shooter in Nicolas Anelka, who was returning from an injury,
And it was Anelka who scored the only goal of the match, Ivan Campo sent an early free kick, completely misread by Gerard Pique, and Anelka was through and able to put us ahead in the 11th minute.
Alex Ferguson was always the baddest of losers, and he couldn`t cope with the fact that Kevin Davies was dominating United left-back Patrice Evra, to the point where the Frenchman must still wake up in cold sweats. Ferguson had a rant at Mark Clattenburg at the break and would have to watch the second half from the stands.
Bolton held on, for what was their only second league win of the season. We`d go on to finish 16th.