Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 Manchester United 0

Last updated : 17 January 2004 By Footymad Previewer

Kenny Miller turned the form book upside down as his first ever Premiership goal earned struggling Wolves a shock win against title chasing Manchester United at Molineux.

Scottish international striker Miller left United reeling with a coolly taken 67th minute strike when he capitalised on a crucial slip by United central defender Wes Brown.

As well as giving Wolves survival hopes a massive boost, Miller's goal also opened up the Premiership title race as United crashed to their third away defeat of the season.

Miller had scored two goals against Kidderminster Harriers in Wolves' FA Cup replay success last weekend, but had struggled to make any kind of impact before he took advantage of Brown's error.

It was Wolves first win over United since 1980 and their first goal against the Old Trafford giants for 20 years.

Miller said: "It was great to score my first ever goal in the Premiership, but what really mattered was the fact that we won the game.

"We worked hard and I thought that we thoroughly deserved to win.

"It has given all of the players a boost and we need to go on and build on this result. It was a great team performance." Wolves' manager Dave Jones was left purring by his side's display and he added: "We expected a tough battle against United and that is exactly what we got.

"But I always felt that if we did everything right we would be in with a chance and we were rewarded by Kenny's goal.

"He has found it hard to adapt to the Premiership but hopefully now he has got his goal he can go on and build on that like we hope to build on this result.

"There is a great spirit in the camp and that was shown against United. Now we have to start picking up some points away from home.

"We can live off this result for a few days for a few days, but we are already thinking about our next game against Liverpool on Wednesday.

"With Arsenal to come shortly as well this is like playing in the Champions League.

"We always knew that it would be tough for us to stay in the Premiership this season as we did not have the funds we needed at the start of the season.

"But we long as you have the belief then you will always have a chance." United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was bitterly upset by the result and he admitted: "We wasted the chances that we created.

"Goals change games, once Wolves scored we found it very difficult to break them down.

"We knew that it would be a hard game against Wolves as they are fighting for their lives.

"I was not really disappointed with the performance as we did play some excellent football but we paid the price for not taking our chances.

"That is two games in a row we have now failed to score in and that is something we have to look at." Ferguson also felt that United were denied a penalty for a challenge by Wolves goalkeeper Michael Oakes on Darren Fletcher in the first half.

He added: "Andy D'Urso is an experienced referee and I felt he went with the home side." With Wolves scrapping for their Premiership lives, they predictably took the game to United in the opening stages, but struggled to test goalkeeper Tim Howard.

Alex Rae and Paul Ince both tried their luck from long range, but it was United who posed the greater threat in attack.

Ruud Van Nistelrooy saw his overhead volley fall on to the roof off the net after 20 minutes while Paul Scholes headed wide two minutes later.

Both chances were created by right-wing centres from the impressive Fletcher, who was giving the Wolves left-back Lee Naylor a torrid time.

With Cristiano Ronaldo posing a threat down the left wing, Wolves faced a fearsome strikeforce and they had to ride their luck to make it to half-time on level terms.

United had four excellent chances in the final three minutes of the opening period to break the deadlock, but they were undone by their finishing and goalkeeper Michael Oakes.

Ronaldo saw his 42nd minute shot deflected wide from close range and from the resulting corner Van Nistelrooy was guilty of what must rank as one of the worst misses of his career.

Scholes flicked on a centre from Ronaldo into the path of Van Nistelrooy only for the Dutchman to somehow head over the bar from just three yards.

Oakes then saved Wolves twice in the final minute of the half, saving from both Fletcher and Mikael Silvestre.

Having ridden their luck to stay on level terms, Wolves were then left to curse their bad luck at the start of the second period when they were inches away from stunning United and taking a shock lead.

Former United skipper Ince for once found himself in acres of space 25 yards from goal.

Ince needed no second invitation to take a pot shot at goal and his right-foot drive left Howard floundering at fresh air, only for the ball to bounce to safety off the near post.

While it was the closest that either side had come to scoring, United still looked the side most likely to take the initiative and they would have done just that, but for more heroics from Oakes in the 57th minute.

The lively Scholes exchanged passes with Van Nistelrooy and when he received the ball back he put in a rasping drive that Oakes spectacularly palmed away diving low to his right.

The full value of Oakes' heroics became clear ten minutes later when Brown slipped seeking to cut out a long throughball from Denis Irwin who had intercepted a throw-in from Quinton Fortune.

Miller nipped past him to calmly slot his right-foot shot beyond Howard.

But Wolves still needed more heroics from Oakes before they could celebrate their famous victory.

The former Aston Villa keeper turned away a 75th minute shot from David Bellion as Wolves successfully extended their unbeaten run at Molineux to ten games.

MAN OF THE MATCH - Wolves midfielder Alex Rae once again belied his 34 years to run the show and boost his claims to win his first full international call-up for Scotland.