Bolton 1 Manchester United 2
BOLTON: Jaaskelainen, O'Brien (Hunt 74), Ben Haim, N'Gotty,Pedersen, Faye, Nolan, Okocha, Speed (Diouf 87),Giannakopoulos, Davies (Borgetti 87).
Subs Not Used: Al Habsi, Nakata.
MAN UTD Van der Sar, Neville, Ferdinand, Vidic, Silvestre,Ronaldo (Park 90), O'Shea, Giggs, Fletcher (van Nistelrooy 61),Rooney, Saha.
Subs Not Used: Howard, Evra, Pique.
The Ruud van Nistelrooy v Luis Saha showdown took another twist on Saturday. But regardless of who we feel is winning, the REAL winner is Sir Alex Ferguson, who must have a sly smile on his face as Ruud tapped home his 150th Manchester United goal to follow up a Saha equaliser.
I have to admit we have championed the van Nistelrooy cause, simply because cannot believe anyone would keep him in on the bench for so long. But, without question, United are looking a better side with the Frenchman in the team. He deserves his run in the side.
Left on the bench again for the crucial clash with Bolton, Van Nistelrooy was introduced on the hour mark and promptly scored the goal that must have stumbling Chelsea having a few doubts.
Van Nistelrooy's effort sealed an eighth straight Premiership win for the Red Devils and the pair jubilantly embraced 11 minutes from time without any hint of bad feeling.
At one stage not so long ago, Chelsea were 18 points clear and Mourinho was confidently talking of wrapping up the title by Easter. We aren't kidding ourselves in thinking we are heading for the title - but it will certainly shut up the 'Special One' - as this current charge shows no sign of slowing.
Kevin Davies put the hosts in front. Abdoulaye Faye set the move in motion by winning an aerial duel with Nemanja Vidic. Kevin Nolan then threaded a pass to Kevin Davies, who instantly pushed the ball through Ferdinand's legs, darted into the box and beat Edwin van der Sar with ease.
Bruno N'Gotty and Joey O'Brien got their wires crossed trying to play offside as United pushed forward, and Saha seized Silvestre's pass and beat Jaaskelainen with a brilliant first-time effort.
Van Nistelrooy's introduction after 15 second-half minutes was the key to victory.
The Dutchman had already seen a couple of chances go begging, with Saha wasting an even better one, before his striking rival raced onto John O'Shea's through ball and cut the pass back for Van Nistelrooy to tap home.