Premier League - Park hits late winner for United

Sat, 06 Nov 16:58:00 2010

Park Ji-Sung's dramatic 93rd-minute strike gave Manchester United a 2-1 Premier League win against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford.

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Highlights: Man Utd 2-1 Wolves

The Korean struck his second goal of the game deep in injury time squeezing a shot past Marcus Hahnemann when it looked like Wolves would claim a deserved point.

Park opened the scoring in the last minute of the first half, before former United player Sylvan Ebanks-Blake equalised on 66 minutes.

The win moves Sir Alex Ferguson's side within two points of table-toppers Chelsea, who face Liverpool on Sunday.

Owen Hargreaves, making his first start for over two years, lasted just five minutes before going off with what looked like a hamstring injury.

Hargreaves's only other appearance since playing 90 minutes against Chelsea, in September 2008, was a 30-second 'cameo' against Sunderland last season.

The England midfielder has suffered countless setbacks in his attempt to return from serious knee problems, and it must be hoped this latest issue is not serious - hamstring injuries are common among players returning from long-term absences.

However, it will no doubt intensify the voices of those who believe Hargreaves's days as a top-level footballer are effectively over.

Certainly, another injury was the last thing Ferguson needed.

Wayne Rooney, Nani and Ryan Giggs were already missing before flu struck down Dimitar Berbatov. With Paul Scholes on the bench, the consequence was that United were without their five most effective attackers, while flu also ruled out Michael Carrick and Rafael.

Bebe replaced Hargreaves and showed the odd glimpse of quality in a largely wasteful display. The winger's party piece was an attempted cross blasted high into the crowd - the kindest thing one can say is that he is a very rough diamond, and he suffered the indignity of himself being substituted for Federico Macheda on 75 minutes.

With the home side lacking ideas, Wolves dominated much of the first half.

Nenad Milijas went closest with a shot that his fellow Serbian Nemanja Vidic deflected with an outstretched toe. The ball could have gone anywhere, but bobbled just wide with Edwin van der Sar stranded.

United took the lead in the final minute before half-time, thanks to a moment of quality from Darren Fletcher.

The Scotsman played a perfect through ball to Park, who finished past Marcus Hahnemann with the help of a slight deflection off a defender's boot.

Wolves hardly deserved to be behind, and reacted strongly, starting the second half with a long spell of possession, although they could not convert that pressure into chances.

On 65 minutes, Mick McCarthy brought Ebanks-Blake on for Kevin Doyle, and within 60 seconds the substitute had scored the equaliser.

He controlled a scuffed Milijas effort, took the ball away from Vidic, turned and fired through Van der Sar's legs. Quite a moment for the former Old Trafford trainee.

Having restored parity, Wolves switched to defensive mode, getting men behind the ball and denying the home side space.

Even after Scholes was summoned from the bench, there was little creativity. Javier Hernandez was booked for diving after he stuck a leg out fishing for contact from Hahnemann, while Gabriel Obertan made a mess of an attempted overhead kick.

United had another penalty appeal turned down when Karl Henry produced a typically uncompromising challenge to take out both the ball and Park - a fine tackle, which had to be perfectly timed.

But just when United looked destined for their sixth draw in 11 Premier League games, Park got them out of jail, dribbling inside from the right and hitting a left-foot shot into the bottom-right corner.

Alex Chick / Eurosport

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