Muntari may have done enough to seal his place

Bolton Wanderers 1 Sunderland 2

It remains to be seen whether Sulley Muntari will move to Sunderland permanently come the summer, but he deserves to after the Internazionale loanee's shot led to the goal that won this game in the 90th minute as the visitors set about ending their poor 2011 record.

Winning for only the second time in 12 matches has put injury ravaged Sunderland in mid-table – too good to go down, not good enough for Europe.

Ivan Klasnic's 87th minute header following Rodrigo's intelligent cross seemed to be enough for Bolton Wanderers to extend Sunderland's winless agonies as it erased the advantage Sunderland had garnered thanks to a fine finish from the rejuvenated Bolo Zenden.

However, Muntari drilled an effort against Zat Knight that dribbled across the line to lift the pressure on Sunderland manager Steve Bruce, confirm Sunderland's Premier League safety, and was perhaps enough to win Muntari the Sunderland contract he so covets.

"There is a deal in place but nothing has been finalised," Bruce said of Muntari. "We will make a decision at the end of the season. I think the problem that Sulley has found is that he has not really played for six months. He won the Champions' League last year but didn't really play for Inter after that. He is just now getting fit to play in the Premier League and that has been the big problem for him – but we know he is a decent footballer."

Muntari stole the headlines but it was team-mate Zenden who was the cornerstone of this victory, scoring an impressive opener as Johan Elmander played him on-side following Stéphane Sessègnon's through ball, as well as co-ordinating and conspiring against an under-par Bolton team.

Sunderland looked decent, if slightly fractious, value for their win even though Kevin Davies and Daniel Sturridge missed a plethora of chances for Bolton. But Muntari arrived when needed to create the winner through an own goal and he'll be looking to get more next season.

"To be fair to them they defended their socks off but on another day we had enough chances to win two or three games," Bolton's manager Owen Coyle said. "To have no points from that game is a disappointment and hugely frustrating. They have not had the bounce of the ball recently but they had it today that is for sure."

Attendance: 22,597

Referee: Kevin Friend

Man of the match: Zenden

Match rating: 6/10

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss