Writer: Red Boy
Date:Saturday March 19 2011
United, despite an indifferent display, snatched the three points with a last gasp winner from Berbatov.
Sir Alex made two changes to the side that started against Marseille, in midweek. Jonny Evans came into the defence whilst Antonio Valencia made his first start since picking up the leg injury back in September.
Team - Van der Sar, Evra , Evans, Smalling, Brown, Giggs, Carrick, Nani, Valencia, Rooney, Hernandez
Subs - Kuszczak, Fabio, Gill, Park, Gibson, Owen, Berbatov
The visitors could well have got off to a great start but wasted a decent opportunity when Elmander chose to go solo rather than square the ball. Hernandez, as United started to get a grip of the game, thought he should have had a penalty but Andre Marriner waved away the appeal after Cahill had seen the ball strike his arm as he slid in to block the Mexican`s effort.
Rooney flashed a shot wide from some distance, but the game was looking to be evenly matched with Bolton Wanderers, quite possibly, edging affairs in the opening twenty-odd minutes.
Jaaskelainen, a formidable keeper to beat at the best of times, dealt easily with a Rooney acrobatic effort after a fine cross from Valencia had found the striker.
Just past the half hour mark, United carved out a half chance with a flowing move involving Valencia and Rooney but Hernandez couldn`t keep his shot on target. As half time approached Rooney fired a shot just over the bar
Not the best first forty-five minutes of the season but credit to Bolton for some sterling resistance and decent play.
Half Time - United 0 Bolton 0
On the back of a poor half, Sir Alex made two changes at half time. Our top-scorer Dimitar Berbatov replaced Javier Hernandez and Fabio da Silva replaced Wes Brown.
Although United the tempo at the start of the second half but chances were looking hard to come by as United looked a little devoid of ideas. With Sturridge off and Lee on, Bolton pushed Elmander up alongside Davies and the Swedish international started to cause United problems causing an air of restlessness to spread around Old Trafford.
Just as United looked as if they were going to get on top, with Berbatov drilling an effort wide from the edge of the box, they were reduced to ten men, quite rightly so, when Jonny Evans on his return from injury, was shown a straight red for a shocking over the top challenge on Holden that left the Bolton player with a deep gash on his knee.
Bolton could then have quire easily silenced Old Trafford when, from the resulting free kick, Van der Sar left the ball and had to react smartly as the original delivery had deceived him.
A Nani flick found Rooney who skipped past a defender but couldn`t beat Jaaskelainen in the Bolton goal. Time was now running out and Bolton could have snatched it when Taylor ten yards out directed his header straight at Van der Sar.
United tried desperately to get that vital winner and Rooney, Berbatov and Nani were all fooled before Berbatov got that crucial breakthrough courtesy of an error from the keeper who could only spill Nani`s shot where the Bulgarian was on hand to tap home.
United 1 Bolton 0 (Berbatov - 88 minutes)
Three points for united but Bolton will feel disappointed they hadn`t taken the lead moments before United scored with that great Taylor chance.
Date:Saturday March 19 2011
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