Date:Saturday October 28 2006
Manchester United steamrollered Bolton in their would-be fortress Reebok Stadium with a magnificent performance orchestrated by hat-trick hero Wayne Rooney. The Reds' have produced their finest display since the Fulham game and have every reason to be confident ahead of the games against Copenhagen and Portsmouth.
In the opening 20 minutes, United were at their majestic best in the Reebok. The Reds' could have finished off Bolton just as they did with Fulham on the opening day, but wasting glorious chances and some terrific saves by Jaaskalainen allowed no more than two goals. First, it was Giggs who jinked his way through Bolton's defence, then fired just wide. Then the 33-year-old released Evra on the left, whose shot was blocked by the advancing Jaaskalainen. United dominated and Giggs was in action again: his measured low cross went across the goal as Rooney and Ronaldo failed to make contact. Saha tried an audacious chip and Faye had to be on alert to clear it from the line.
It seemed United would rip apart Bolton and the goal you could see was coming arrived after 10 minutes when Carrick's fine long ball was controlled perfectly by Rooney and his left-foot shot beat Jaaskalainen and hit the back of the net.
Six minutes later United doubled their advantage when the ball was deflected to Rooney who fired home from 18 yards.
The Red Devils' eased off a bit and we had to wait for the 30th minute when Saha's deflected shot just went over the bar. Bolton also had a chance: Faye headed over following a corner. But United had the last word when Giggs got through Meite and tried to find the far corner just to be denied by Jaaskalainen.
The second half was a bit boring to be honest. United eased off, Bolton struggled to create chances as their attacking play lacked any kind of imagination. The first real chance of the second 45 minutes came in the 73th minute when Saha was released in the middle but hit the ball straight at Jaaskalainen with the keeper at his mercy. Then on the other end Edwin van der Sar had to be at his best to save Ivan Campo's shot on the turn with his legs.
It seemed Bolton could not score if they played until tomorrow and the game's third goal was produced by the visitors again when Carrick found Saha with yet another magnificent ball and the Frenchman unselfishly set up Ronaldo who found the empty net.
It was all over for Bolton but not for United who had some loose ends to tie up: Rooney had to complete his first Premiership hat-trick and he duly did after Campo gave the ball to Fletcher and the Scot's fine ball found Rooney who beat Jaaskalainen again and finished a memorable afternoon for himself and United in style.
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Date:Saturday October 28 2006
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