In the year he`s been in charge at the Reebok, Gary Megson had yet to see his side win after going behind. That was remedied in emphatic fashion at the Stadium of Light as Bolton hammered Sunderland, with the help of some comedy defending.
It had all looked so good for the home side after they went ahead on ten minutes when Kieran Richardson and Steed Malbranque combined to play in Djibril Cissé. The man with the strange hair, stroked the ball past Jussi Jaaskelainen.
The relief for Sunderland fans was short lived. Within seven minutes Wanderers were level as Matt Taylor outjumped Pascal Chimbonda to score with a looping header past Sunderland 'keeper Cinderella Gordon, who had advanced a yard off his line for reasons yet to be explained.
Three minutes later, Bolton were ahead. Richardson hacked down Kevin Davies and from the resulting free kick, Davies headed down to the unmarked Gary Cahill who rifled home. Sunderland thought they`d equalised on the half-hour mark when Cisse had the ball in the net after Kenwyne Jones headed against the bar, but the Trinidad and Tobago striker was adjudged to have pushed Jlloyd Samuel. The referee`s assistant was slow to signal this, as his flag had disintegrated, just as Sunderland`s defence did a moment later, with Elmander rounding Gordon, only to fire wide, when he had time to steady himself.
The Swede made amends just before half-time as Danny Collins let the ball slip under his foot, leaving the Bolton centre-forward one with Gordon. This time he made no mistake, scoring at the near post. Ten minutes into the second half and the game was over. Elmander robbed Dale Whitehead and laid the ball off to Kevin Nolan before running into space for the return pass. The Bolton skipper obliged and Elmander finished emphatically, with his left foot this time. Wanderers new goal scoring hero spurned the chance of a hat-trick on 73 minutes after a neat passing move between him, Nolan and Davies had left him clear of The Black Cats defence.
There has been a remarkable turnaround for Bolton. At the start of November they were bottom of the league and there were calls for the dismissal of Gary Megson. Now they sit comfortably in seventh and the next Premier League manager to leave his post looks likely to be Roy Keane.