Manchester United 2-0 Bolton Wanderers

  • September 27, 2008 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton are now six games without a victory as they fell to a controversial 2-0 defeat against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring on the hour, converting from the penalty spot after referee Rob Styles had adjudged Jlloyd Samuel to have fouled the Portuguese international.

Substitute Wayne Rooney added a second on 77 minutes with a superb curling effort beyond Jussi Jaaskelainen, effectively killing the game off for Wanderers.

Kevin Nolan had an early effort for Wanderers, but Edwin van der Sar made a comfortable stop in the United goal, before Johan Elmander had a great chance to open the scoring, but he scuffed his effort and it was cleared to safety.

Park Ji-Sung hit the side netting after Jaaskelainen could only parry Carlos Tevez's effort back in to play, and the Wanderers keeper was proving to be in great form with two more stops.

First he denied Dimitar Berbatov from close range, before pushing a Ronaldo free-kick behind for a corner as the home side took control of the game.

Rio Ferdinand also tried his luck but was thwarded by the Finn, who was having a great game between the sticks.

Again he prevented United from taking the lead, tipping Anderson's goalbound effort behind for another corner inside the final 10 minutes of the half.

Despite seeing less of the ball, it was Wanderers who had the best chance to break the deadlock, but Fabrice Muamba somehow put the effort wide of goal.

Gretar Steinsson's cross was left by Elmander and with the goal at his mercy, Muamba went to place the ball into the far corner, but succeeded in pulling his shot off target.

This seemed to spark Wanderers into life and Ricardo Gardner had a chance before the break, but some last ditch defending from Nemanja Vidic denied Bolton a shot on goal.

Gardner was involved once again straight after the restart, narrowly missing the target after a good run and shot.

Then, just a minute later, the home side were down the other end, but after turning away from Andy O'Brien, Ronaldo hit the post with Jaaskelainen desperately scrambling across his goal.

From the next attack, controversy hit Old Trafford as Styles awarded Man Utd a penalty, despite Samuel clearly taking the ball as Ronaldo fell to the floor.

There were no penalty appeals from any United player but Styles stuck to his decision and Ronaldo duely stepped up to send Jaaskelainen the wrong way and give the hosts the lead.

Soon after, Sir Alex Ferguson introduced both Rooney and Paul Scholes, and it didn't take the former long to make his impression on the game.

13 minutes from time, he latched on to a flick from Ronaldo and curled the ball beyond the dive of Jaaskelainen to make sure of the points.

Jaaskelainen superbly denied substitute Nani from adding a third before Scholes also forced the Finn into action in stoppage time, but United ran out deserved winners.

Bolton travel to West Ham next week looking to put an end to their recent poor run of form and move clear of the bottom three.

Manchester United: Van der Sar, Neville, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Ronaldo (Nani 80), Fletcher, Anderson (Scholes 71), Park, Tevez (Rooney 71), Berbatov
Subs Not Used: Amos, Giggs, O'Shea, Evans
Goals: Ronaldo 60(pen), Rooney 77

Bolton Wanderers: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Cahill, A O'Brien, Samuel, Davies, Nolan, McCann, Muamba, Gardner (Smolarek 73), Elmander (Vaz Te 66)
Subs Not Used: Al Habsi, Taylor, J O'Brien, Riga, Shittu
Booked: Elmander, Davies, McCann

Attendance: 75,484
Referee: Rob Styles

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
13 Accrington Stanley 27 36
14 Charlton Athletic 27 33
15 Bolton Wanderers 26 32
16 Lincoln City 26 31
17 Cheltenham Town 27 31
View Full Standings >>


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