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Monday, Nov. 8, 2010

Park rescues win for United against Wolves

LONDON (AP) Park Ji Sung struck deep into stoppage time against Wolverhampton to secure Manchester United's third successive Premier League victory, while Tottenham was brought back to earth following its European exploits by losing at Bolton on Saturday

Park netted his first goals of the league season to secure a 2-1 win over Wolves. The South Korea midfielder's opener on the stroke of halftime was canceled out by Sylvan Ebanks-Blake in the 66th.

United is now two points behind Chelsea ahead of the leaders' match against Liverpool on Sunday.

"It was a long struggle," Alex Ferguson said on his 24th anniversary as United manager. "Right on halftime and right on the final whistle are amazing times to score. But Ji's in great form actually, he's been one of our best players in recent weeks. It was another really good performance from him today."

Tottenham lost 4-2 at Bolton after failing to replicate the ruthless attacking display that saw holder Inter Milan beaten 3-1 in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Also Saturday, Blackburn beat Wigan 2-1, Sunderland defeated Stoke 2-0 and Aston Villa was held 1-1 at Fulham, while there were 2-2 draws between Birmingham and West Ham and Blackpool and Everton.

United's match started badly when Owen Hargreaves limped off just five minutes into his first start in more than two years with an apparent hamstring injury.

The gloom was lifted before halftime when Darren Fletcher cut in from the left before splitting the Wolves defense with a through-ball that allowed Park to put United ahead.

But former United trainee Ebanks-Blake was in the right place to intercept a Nenad Milijas shot in 66th minute, turn sharply to round Nemanja Vidic, then drive a shot through the legs of goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar.

Park, though, restored United's lead in the third minute of stoppage time after cutting inside the penalty area from the right wing two minutes into injury time and driving his shot past American 'keeper Marcus Hahnemann at the near post.

Ferguson said several players were feeling ill after a midweek Champions League trip to Turkey.

Rebel team advances

MANCHESTER , England (AP) The team formed by disenchanted Manchester United fans could be just a game away from facing the club they rebelled against after it was bought by American tycoon Malcolm Glazer.

FC United, which has rapidly risen to the seventh tier of English soccer after five years in existence, has reached the second round of the F.A. Cup with a 3-2 victory over third-tier club Rochdale.

In Friday's match, which was televised by ESPN in Britain, Mike Norton's stoppage-time winner sent FC United through. But the tiler, who had been working since 8 a.m. on Friday, had to go back to work on Saturday.

"I need to finish off a bathroom job I have only half done," Norton said.

Victory in the next game would take the semiprofessional side to the stage when the top teams, including record 11-time winner Manchester United, enter world soccer's oldest knockout competition.

"(Playing) Manchester United is a dream. Or is it?" FC United manager Karl Marginson said.

"For a lot of our fans it would be a nightmare because they have vowed never to go to Old Trafford again. It is a toss of a coin really."

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