Football: Manchester United breeze past lackluster Bolton
Saturday, March 17, 2007
|Goalscorers for Manchester United||Park (14', 25'), Rooney (17', 74')|
|Goalscorers for Bolton Wanderers||Speed (87'(pen))|
|Bookings (Manchester United)||Richardson (Yellow (1)|
|Bookings (Bolton Wanderers)||Campo, Gardner (Yellow (2))|
Doubles from Park Ji-Sung and Wayne Rooney lifted Manchester United to an easy 4-1 win over Bolton Wanderers earlier today at Old Trafford. Manchester's Christiano Ronaldo was the star of the game, as he set up all three first half goals for United. Bolton had been struggling as of late in the Premiership, loosing two of their last three games, while United were looking for their sixth straight win.
Bolton started off the game with the first chance when John O'Shea gave the ball away to Nicolas Anelka, but the Frenchman dragged his shot just wide. United hit their stride soon after, and Park Ji-Sung should have given them the lead after seven minutes. Ryan Giggs flick at the net was miss-handled by keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen, and Park was there to pick up the scraps, but he somehow poked the close range shot over the net. United suffered a blow a few minutes later when skipper Gary Neville twisted his ankle under a challenge from Gary Speed. Neville was replaced by Wes Brown, and the game continued with Ryan Giggs as captain for United. Ronaldo then had a chance after he was found by a searching ball by Brown, but the Portuguese wingers shot was from a bad angle and flew high and wide. Ronaldo would then set up the first goal of the game as he broke for the touch line and at the last minute cut the ball back to Park, who slotted home the ball with a tidy side foot finish. Bolton pushed back to tie the game, but it would be United who would score nect on a storming counterattack. Ronaldo picked up the ball in his own half, did a quick one-two with Rooney, and then delivered the ball back to the young Englishman. Rooney was all alone on the keeper, and chipped the ball over the sprawling Jaaskeleinen to double Uniteds lead. Ronaldo had another chance, but shot wide before Kevin Davies wasted Bolton's best chance by heading over the net. Park then earned himself a brace after some poor goalkeeping by Jaaskeleinen gifted him the ball and the South-Korean slotted home his second, giving Manchester a three-nil lead before halftime.
After the break, Christiano Ronaldo had a fantastic chance to score after a cross by Heinze picked him out in the box, but the Portuguese was not able to make contact and the ball flew harmlessly by. Giggs then had a chance for United, but his attempted chip went well wide of the net. Nicolas Anelka then had a chance for Bolton as he lashed a volley from the center of goal, but again was off target. Jaaskeleinen was then forced into a fine save off a blasted shot by Ronaldo, who was soon replace by Alan Smith. Smith was returning to the Premiership after thirteen months out with injury due to a broken leg which he suffered against Liverpool last year. Smith instantly made an impact on the game when his lob-pass to Rooney left the striker open to blast home his second of the game, increasing United lead to four. Bolton were given a consolation penalty as the game neared its end, and Speed's low blast from the spot snuck in past Kuszkzak, ruining his bid for a clean sheet.
The win gives United more hope in their goal of the Premiership title, but their next game is a FA Cup replay against Middlesbrough at Old Trafford. Bolton's next match is at home to strugglers Sheffield United.
- Andrew Scurr. "Red Devils run riot over Bolton" — , March 17, 2007