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United 1 Bolton 0

United 1 Bolton 0

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.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Red Boy
Date:Saturday March 19 2011
Time: 6:00PM


A vital win, the team done well to group together and keep the pressure even after the red card. Bolton done incredibly well. Hard to pick a MOTM from this one, personally i'm going to go with Rooney, he seemed to be the playmaker for a majority of the game and crafted chances incredibly well.
19/03/2011 23:54:00
Like him or loathe him, you have to give Ferguson his due. He’s a very clever man who will stop at nothing to win. Recognising there's a good chance of a United v Bolton final and recognising that Stuart Holden has been such an influential player for Bolton, he ensures that poor Stuart gets badly nobbled. Well done Fergie, another show of ruthless competitiveness. If everybody was like you, the world would have been destroyed long ago.
Bristol White
20/03/2011 10:38:00
^You can't be serious.
20/03/2011 10:58:00
When other managers think that one of their players have made a bad tackle they normally say something like "I hope the boy's alright". Not Ferguson on Sky Sports, nor that other guy (who is he?) who talks to the BBC. No mention of the injured player - speaks volumes!
Bristol White
20/03/2011 23:30:00
They both (Phelan and Fergie) admitted it was a red card and a sending off, that's an acknowledgement that it was a poor challenge. Fair due's they didn't wish him well but the same time they never said anything bad about him either. The more shocking point is that you believe Fergie sends his players out to injure key players giving us the advantage for possible future fixtures!? If that's the case when we played Bayern over 2-legs why didn't we injure both Robben and Ribery? When we played Chelsea why didn't Fergie ensure a key player was out of the game? Do you just blindly hate him and so pluck conspiracy's and nasty rumours out of the air? Fergie might not be perfect, from the oppositions eyes he's far from it, but you are the first insinuate that Fergie wants players injured for his own gain.
21/03/2011 12:38:00
It was all somewhat tongue in cheek to be honest. I don't think he would do that. I didn't expect us to get anything out of the game even though I know we'll try to win with Owen Coyle at the helm. What upset me was losing our best player at the hands of a tackle like that. I'm even more *****ed off now it's clear there's no way Holden can play in the cup final should we get there. He's out for 6 months. Make no mistake, if we play you in the final, that's a huge benefit to you. You won't understand what it's like but we don't have some £10 million player waiting on the sidelines to take over. And don't give me that swings and roundabouts nonsense. Decisions DO NOT even themselves out over the season - they are in favour of the big clubs. If one of our players had put Rooney out for 6 months with a 2 footed, studs showing, tackle Ferguson would be calling for a lengthy ban for the culprit - and the authorities would no doubt deliver. Instead it's just hard luck Bolton, you've lost your best player until well into next season and for United? A 3 match ban for somebody you won't even notice is missing from the squad.
Bristol White
21/03/2011 15:46:00
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