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

News
Professor David Nutt wants to change the way gravely ill patients are treated in Britain
people Why does a former Government tsar believe that mind-altering drugs have a place on prescription?
News
Norway’s ‘The Nordland Line – Minute by Minute, Season by Season’ continues the trend of slow TV
television The BBC have commissioned a series of programmes doing away with high-production values, commentary, script or drama
Arts and Entertainment
art
Sport
Jonny Evans has pleaded not guilty to an FA charge for spitting at Papiss Cisse
football
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Kate Moss will make a cameo appearance in David Walliams' The Boy in the Dress
fashion
News
The image released by the Salvation Army, using 'The Dress'
news
Sport
Liverpool defender Kolo Toure
football Defender could make history in the FA Cup, but African Cup of Nations win means he's already content
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable