Sir Alex Ferguson admitted Manchester United got themselves into a panic before scrambling past Bolton to go top of the Barclays Premier League.
United were 2-0 up at the break and seemingly cruising before Matt Taylor struck for the Trotters 15 minutes from time. It was the prelude for a Bolton bombardment and they came close to snatching a point when Edwin van der Sar made a crucial save to keep out Gary Cahill's header.
"It was more tense than we would have liked. We made it hard for ourselves and we were panicking at times. But we got through it, just," said Ferguson.
The Red Devils got their noses in front after four minutes when Zat Knight got himself in a tangle as he tried to clear a misdirected Michael Owen header and only succeeded in turning the ball past Jussi Jaaskelainen.
Antonio Valencia then scored his first United goal since making his £17million summer move from Wigan.
It was part of Valencia's best performance in a United shirt, with Ferguson acknowledging the giant strides being made by the Ecuador star.
"He is a fit and powerful lad," said Ferguson. "He kept going forward and it will be good for him to get that goal."
In the end though United were indebted to the calmness of Van der Sar, who proved exactly why Ferguson had offered him an instant recall after breaking two fingers during a pre-season game in Munich.
"Edwin has such fantastic experience. He is so consistent. That is what he has been about over all these years," said the United boss.
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