Half-time report: Bolton v Manchester United

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Half-time report: Bolton v Manchester United
Bolton 1 Manchester United 1
A stunning equaliser from Nani cancelled out Zat Knight's early strike to send Manchester United and Bolton into half-time level at the Reebok Stadium.
In a thoroughly entertaining first-half, Knight's flick gave the hosts a surprise 1-0 lead on the fifth minute, but Nani's fabulous solo effort mid-way through the half ensured the Red Devils went into the break on level terms.
Dimitar Berbatov, who has started the season in scintillating form, had a golden chance to square the ball for Ryan Giggs just two minutes after kick-off. The Bulgarian was found on the right courtesy of a brilliant ball from Wayne Rooney, but the on-form striker smashed his shot harmlessly wide.
But despite the early promise, it was Owen Coyle's side who took a surprise lead just five minutes into the match. Poor marking from Jonny Evans allowed Knight to flick a shot goalwards, which then beat Patrice Evra, who failed to get tight to the far post.
United, riled by that early setback, almost provided an instant response through Giggs. Good work from Darren Fletcher down the right saw the Scot cut a cross back to the veteran Welshman, but his low shot on his unfavoured right foot was hit straight at Jussi Jaaskelainen.
The Bolton goalkeeper, who was making his first appearance since being sent-off against Birmingham at the end of last month, then produced a crucial save minutes later to deny Fletcher.
It was a frantic start to the match at the Reebok Stadium, and Bolton came agonisingly close to doubling their advantage just before the 20 minute mark.
A neat flick-on from Kevin Davies after a Stuart Holden free-kick found Johan Elmander inside the United penalty area, and any touch from the Sweden international would surely have resulted in a goal. However, Elmander failed to connect and Edwin van der Sar was able to make a vital reaction save.
Sam Ricketts then almost got himself on the scoresheet with a brilliant driving run and shot, which was dealt with by Van der Sar. But a moment of inspiration from Nani on the 23rd minute levelled the scoreline.
The Portuguese picked up the ball on the half-way line, accelerated towards the Bolton back four, beat three of them and then planted a rasping drive into the bottom corner of the hosts' net. It was a superb solo goal from the on-form winger – reminiscent of former Manchester United hero Cristiano Ronaldo.
With the game stretched, both sides were still intent on attacking.
However, there were no further goals scored, and the two teams will come out after the interval both confident of winning this open, flowing Premier League encounter.



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