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On This Day: Red Star Belgrade v Bolton Wanderers

Six years ago today - who woulda thunk it?

The 2007-08 season saw Bolton Wanderers qualify for that season's UEFA Cup having finished seventh the previous season.

The season had started under the stewardship of Sam Allardyce's replacement, Sammy Lee, until he himself was replaced in October by He Who Shall Not Be Named.

The club began our UEFA Cup campaign with a home tie against FK Rabotnički of Macedonia, which was won 1-0 with another goal from French striker and club record signing Nicolas Anelka. A 1-1 away draw secured qualification for the group stages of the competition, where we were drawn against former European Cup winners Bayern Munich and Red Star Belgrade as well as highly regarded Portuguese side S.C. Braga and Aris from Greece.

The group stages kicked off with a 1-1 home draw against Braga - as new manager HWSNBN sat on the bench watching like a gormless ginger ape. A famous 2-2 away draw in Munich against Bayern was then followed by another draw this time at home to Aris. This meant that Bolton could secure qualification for the next stage if they won in Belgrade.

However, at that time no British club had ever won in Belgrade, and so it was with much trepidation that HWSNBN took a much-changed side to Serbia.

Despite this, Wanderers were able to earn yet another famous result, brought about by a Gavin McCann goal in front of 45,000 assembled fans at the club's famous Marakana stadium in the 45th minute.

HWSNBN's decision to leave out regular first teamers including names such as Nicolas Anelka, Kevin Davies, Kevin Nolan, Andy O'Brien, Ricardo Gardner and Jussi Jaaskelainen did not seem to make too much of a difference, with Wanderers deservedly leading at half time, though this lead was in part attributable to the form of goalkeeper Al Habsi, who made some impressive saves along the way.

Wanderers had chances to extend their lead, but a shot from Stelios deflected wide of the Belgrade goal off Christian Wilhelmsson, while the Swedish striker himself saw an effort miss after striking an opposition player, whilst Wanderers captain Gary Speed, shot wide.

We managed to see out the rest of the game, and earned a famous win which sealed our passage into the next round. We progressed even further following a famous home win and away draw against Spanish giants Atlético Madrid on aggregate before being knocked out by a combination of Sporting Lisbon and HWSNBN's despicable evil.

Bolton manager HWSNBN on being a dick and resting several senior players:


"I felt it was the right thing to do.

"Some players who were out there are internationals and have played big games in their careers.

"We knew they would be competitive and that's how it turned out."


Red Star Belgrade: Randjelovic, Bronowicki (Andjelkovic 80), Tutoric, Bajalica, Basta, Milijas (Burzanovic 73), Koroman, Lucas, Molina , Milovanovic, Jestrovic (Filip Djordjevic 64).
Subs Not Used: Banovic, Vladimir Djordjevic, Raskovic, Castillo.

Booked: Koroman.

Bolton: Ali Al Habsi, Nicky Hunt, Abdouleye Meite, Lubomir Michalik, Jloyd Samuel, Stelios Giannakopoulos, Gary Speed, Andranik Teymourian, Christian Wilhelmsson, Gavin McCann, Daniel Braaten (James Sinclair 87).
Subs Not Used: Ian Walker, Danny Guthrie, Zoltan Harsanyi, Matt Cassidy, Rob Sissons, Nathan Woolfe.

Booked: McCann.

Goals: McCann 45.

Att: 45,000

Ref: Paul Allaerts (Belgium).