Berbatov gives United victory
Dimitar Berbatov scored the only goal three minutes from time to give 10-man Manchester United a precious 1-0 Premier League win against Bolton at Old Trafford.
Already struggling to find a breakthrough, United's chance of victory appeared to disappear when Jonny Evans was red-carded for a reckless second-half tackle on Stuart Holden.
But after Matthew Taylor had failed to take a glorious chance for the hosts, Berbatov pounced to net his 21st goal of the season after Jussi Jaaskelainen had failed to hold Nani's long-range shot.
Referee Andre Marriner rejected United's appeal for an early penalty when Javier Hernandez's shot bounced onto Gary Cahill's arm.
United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar got his positioning right to ensure Martin Petrov's curling free-kick did not find the net, and Bolton's Daniel Sturridge then failed to make the most of a half-chance and Johan Elmander fired a thunderbolt straight at Patrice Evra.
Wayne Rooney made a chance for Hernandez but the Mexican could not direct his near-post effort on target. Rooney was off target with a couple of efforts too, before Berbatov replaced Hernandez for the second half.
Petrov threatened with a speculative effort from an acute angle, before Berbatov sent a snap-shot narrowly wide.
The dismissal of Evans looked to be a blow, while for Bolton the worry was that Holden was taken off on a stretcher.
Trotters substitute Taylor held his head in his hands as he sent a free header straight at Van der Sar.
And when Berbatov tapped home, the feeling of this being a key day in the title battle was inescapable.