English Premier League – Half time Review: Bolton Wanderers versus Manchester United

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English Premier League – Half time Review: Bolton Wanderers versus Manchester United
Manchester United played out an exhilarating first half of football at the Reebok stadium as they faced, Owen Coyle’s Bolton Wanderers. Sir Alex Ferguson started with the likes of Dimitar Berbatov in attack alongside Wayne Rooney. There were some rumours
before the match that suggested that, Rooney could be left out of the starting line up to make way for Michael Owen but the English national team star featured right from the start for the Red devils.
It was almost a first choice starting eleven for Manchester United but on worrying factor for United’s fans was the exclusion of Rio Ferdinand. Rio was fit to start for the match but he was left out by Sir Alex Ferguson perhaps to give the centre back some
more rehabilitation time for his spinal injury. For Bolton, Coyle started with the in-form Swedish striker, Johan Elmander in attack. He was supported by Martin Petrov from the right side of Bolton’s midfield. Chung-Yong Lee also started for Bolton on the
left hand side while Kevin Davies partnered Elmander in attack.
Manchester United started the game off on the front foot and their first shot of the match came through their star striker, Dimitar Berbatov. However, his effort went way over the bar and failed to make Jussi Jaaskelainen work. Most of United’s early attacks
came through the linkup between Ryan Giggs and Patrice Evra down the left hand side of United’s midfield. The first corner of the match also went to Manchester United in the 3rd minute of the match. It was taken by Luis Nani but the set piece was
wasted as it was eventually cleared by Bolton’s stern defence.
Bolton’s first proper string of possession came in the 5th minute of the match which was concluded as Lee’s shot on target was deflected away by Patrice Evra’s foot.  The ensuing set piece was capitalized on by Zat Knight who headed the ball into
the back of the United net, past the despairing Dutchman, Edwin Van Der Saar. Bolton’s goal was under threat straight away as United kicked off and pushed on for an attack. Nonetheless, Manchester United’s move forward resulted in nothing as Bolton competently
dealt with the Red devil’s thrust.
Manchester United tested Jaaskelainen in the 10th minute of the first half as Giggs latched onto Darren Fletcher’s grounded ball from the right hand side of attack. The Welshman’s shot was straight at the Bolton goalkeeper who had no trouble dealing
with the shot.  In the 17th minute of the match, Elmander had a golden opportunity to double his team’s lead as he got a foot on Kevin Davies’s flick on.
Edwin Van Der Sar was on hand to save Manchester United from a two goal deficit as he palmed away the Swedish striker’s shot. Manchester United got their equalizer in the 22nd minute of the match through a brilliant solo run by Luis Nani. The
Portuguese winger collected the ball on the half-way line and went on a mazy solo run which was capped off by a wonderful finish by the former-Lisbon player. With Nani’s goal, Manchester United pulled the score to 1-1.
United gained control of the match after getting their goal and soon started dictating terms. They saw more space and time on the ball as far as the midfield was concerned. Ferguson’s team constantly forced corners; however Bolton with height in their defence
had no trouble dealing with these set pieces. Wayne Rooney almost doubled United’s lead in the 39th minute of the match but his curling shot was just over the Bolton’s goal post.
Nani and Berbatov were Manchester United’s most dangerous men in the first half while their weakest links were Johnny Evans and surprisingly Wayne Rooney. For Bolton, Kevin Davies was at his best along with Chung-Yong Lee. The first half ended with the score
line at 1-1.



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