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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
reddwarf said:
I was at the 4-1 win against Bolton last March. It was the game in which Gary Neville injured his ankle.
And isn't it the one where Rooney exploded into life & netted a fabulous hat-trick
against?? Let's hope history could repeat itself once again...

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Jazz 16 said:
Nope, Rooney scored that hat-trick at the Reebok.
This game Rooney got 2 (one was that great 1-2 with Ronaldo I think)
and Park got the other 2 ;)
Oopsies, sorry for the mistake. :eek:
Looks like my memory's failing me at such a young age!! :eek:
Anyway, Rooney loves netting against Bolton Wanderers.
Let's juz' hope that he does it again, and keep his goal-scoring
run goin' till the end of this season ;)

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
Prem Preview: Manchester United - Bolton Wanderers

What: Premier League, Round 30
Who: Manchester United (1st EPL, 67/87 pts) v Bolton ( 18th EPL, 25/87 pts)
When: Wednesday, 19th March, kick-off: 20:00 GMT
Where: Old Trafford, Manchester.

United In Driving Seat, Finish Line In Sight

Manchester United climbed back to the top of the Premier League on Saturday as Arsenal drew for the fourth game in succession. Although the reigning Champions were not particularly impressive as they struggled to break down a Derby defence that had conceded six at Stamford Bridge just a few days earlier, they appear to have taken leadership of the title race at the right time.

A win over struggling Bolton at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening will see Alex Ferguson's men open up a three point lead over Arsenal ahead of another ‘Grand Slam Sunday' this weekend, when United host Liverpool and Chelsea play Arsenal.

Ferguson was seething after the last game at Old Trafford, when United crashed out of the Cup at the hands of Portsmouth.

The fiery Scot decided to point the finger for that defeat at referee Martin Atkinson, but United created so many chances that day that perhaps Ferguson should have looked closer to home when he wanted someone to blame. It was wayward finishing that cost United that day, and nearly cost them again at Pride Park on Saturday.

United will need to be more clinical if they are to take the three points against a side that have already beaten them once this season, as well as knocking out Atletico Madrid of the UEFA Cup and drawing away to German Giants Bayern Munich.

'Unacceptable' Bolton Need To Improve

Whether Bolton's excellent performances in the UEFA Cup have had a detrimental effect on the side's league campaign is questionable, but is strange that a side can raise their game when they visit Lisbon, Munich and Belgrade and yet lose to ten man Wigan in the bread and butter of the Premier League.

That defeat on Sunday at the JJB was a sore one for Bolton. Having seen their hosts and local rivals go down to ten men in the fifth minute, Wanderers still succumbed to a 1-0 defeat that put Wigan into 12th place and left out of form Bolton still in the bottom three.

Megson described that defeat as 'unacceptable' and the thousands of Bolton fans who travelled to Lisbon only to see a second string side crash out of the UEFA Cup, will not have been impressed that their side did not make the most of their fresh legs on the awful playing surface that Wigan share with their rugby playing neighbours.

Bolton will have to drastically imporve if they are to upset the Champions on their own patch, and with United knowing that they can open up a gap at the top of the table, anything other than a home win seems unlikely.

Form Guide

Manchester United

15 Mar v Derby (a) WON 1-0 (Prem)

08 Mar v Portsmouth (h) LOST 0-1 (FA Cup)

04 Mar v Lyon (h) WON 1-0 (CL)

01 Mar v Fulham (a) WON 3-0 (Prem)

23 Feb v Newcastle (a) WON 5-1 (Prem)

20 Feb v Lyon (a) DREW 1-1 (CL)

Bolton Wanderers

16 Mar v Wigan (a) LOST 0-1 (Prem)

13 Mar v Sporting (a) LOST 0-1 (UEFA)

06 Mar v Sporting (h) DREW 1-1 (UEFA)

02 Mar v Liverpool (h) LOST 1-3 (Prem)

24 Feb v Blackburn (a) LOST 1-4 (Prem)

21 Feb v Atletico Madrid (a) DREW 0-0 (UEFA)

Team News

Manchester United

Ben Foster made two excellent saves in the win at Derby, and he may have to continue in goal with Thomas Kuszcak suspended and Edwin Van der Sar still missing with a groin strain. Carlos Tevez may make a return to the starting line-up which should give United a bit more calmness in front of goal.

Last Starting XI (4-3-3 v Derby): Foster - O‘Shea, Brown, Vidic, Evra - Park (Saha 62), Scholes (Carrick 62), Anderson (Fletcher 74), Giggs - Ronaldo, Rooney.

Bolton Wanderers

Jussi Jaaskelainen is doubtful with a back injury, and Kevin Nolan (back) is also a doubt. Megson may look to shuffle his pack after some disappointing recent displays.

Last Starting XI (4-3-3 v Wigan): Al Habsi - Steinsson, A O'Brien, Cahill (McCann 69), Gardner - Nolan, Campo, Cohen (Rasiak 42)- Diouf (J O‘Brien h-t), Davies, Taylor.

Players To Watch

Manchester United - Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 22 League goals this season, not bad for a player who is being ‘kicked out of the Premier League' according to his manager. Bolton are one of the most aggressive sides in the league, and they will test the patience of Ronaldo and Ferguson on Wednesday. Ronaldo usually rises above the treatment he receives, and do not be surprised if he is United's match winner again on Wednesday.

Bolton Wanderers - Ivan Campo is a cult figure at the Reebok, and it is not hard to see why. The former Real Madrid man is one of Wanderers better players and his strength, astute positional sense and efficient use of the ball provide a good base for The Trotters. Campo will have to be at his best as a shield in front of a backline that is likely to be under the cosh on Wednesday.


United have misfired in recent weeks, but have managed to overtake a stuttering Arsenal at the top of the table. They should have enough quality to overcome a Bolton side that become entrenched in the bottom three following a run of four consecutive League defeats.

Manchester United 2-0 Bolton Wanderers

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
Nolan Pleads For Support Against United

Bolton Wanderers captain Kevin Nolan has called on the Reebok fanbase to get behind the team both at home and away as his side seek to draw clear of the relegation zone...

The Trotters sit in a precarious position in the Premier League, with two points separating them from the safety zone at present.

However, they have a game in hand over the likes of Sunderland, Birmingham and Reading, meaning that a shock result at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening could see them pull away from the bottom three.

To this end, captain Nolan has asked the fans to show both patience and support, something that he deemed lacking after their fourth straight league defeat, this time at Wigan, on Saturday.

"We were poor against Wigan, especially in the first half," said the 25-year-old to Bolton's official website.

"In the second half we put them under pressure but it was just that goal we needed. We were rightly booed off by our fans.

"It's always disappointing to see that and to see the anger in their faces. As club captain I ask them to please stay with us. We need them in our hour of need."

However, he admitted that it's ultimately down to the players.

The one-club man continued, "It's up to us to stand up and be counted. We've got nine games to get ourselves out of this. It's not the time to talk about it, we need to do it."

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Discussion Starter · #50 ·

Kevin Davies has built up a reputation as a dirty player and not without good reason. Statistics prove he is the Premier League's all-time dirtiest player ahead of Alan Smith and, after committing the most fouls last season (88), he is also leading the way this year with 76 so far.

Let's Get Physical

Ferguson — who held nothing back when criticising Portsmouth duo Sylvain Distin and Lassana Diarra just over a week ago — will no doubt already be incensed at the thought of facing the reckless front-man, but believes his defenders are more than a match for him, physically and otherwise.

“They’ve got Kevin Davies up front and he’ll do everything he possibly can to unsettle us," said Sir Alex.

“He’s a physical lad and we have to deal with that but I think Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand have the height and ability to do that.”

Because I don't like you

United full-back Patrice Evra appeared to be the main target of Davies in the reverse fixture earlier this season, a game which Bolton managed to win thanks to a single goal from Nicolas Anelka, who of course has since moved to United's title rivals Chelsea.

Evra was extremely disgruntled with his treatment on that particular afternoon — as was his manager — and the Frenchman has now looked back on the game heading into Wednesday's showdown.

“I had more bad tackles in that game than I have in my entire career," declared an animated Evra. “His first tackle on me should have been a red card."

There was, apparently, more to it. The ex-Monaco man went on to reveal that this had apparently been going on for a while and that Davies — jokingly or not — told the player he didn't like him, and that's what made him a target of the forward's tough tackling.

"It was the same last year," recalled Evra. "When Davies kicked me, I said to him ‘Why do you tackle like that?’ And he said ‘It’s because I don’t like you!’"

In Your Face

Bolton boss Gary Megson, on the other hand, has nothing but words of encouragement for the 29-year-old. Megson has gone as far as to say that Davies embodies the fighting spirit Bolton have long been associated with — this much being true — and that he wants his side to get that back.

To little surprise, there was no mention of the alarming amount of fouls commited by the player in the process of his playing style.

“Kevin is a good player," said the ex-West Bromwich Albion manager. “He can cause any team problems and I want us to get back to that in-your-face attitude you normally associate with this club.

“We needed that fighting spirit against Wigan at the weekend and didn’t get it.

“But I want to see it back again at Old Trafford and in the eight games we have to play after that.”

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Discussion Starter · #52 ·
Sir Alex Not Underestimating Bolton

Ahead of league leaders Manchester United's clash with third from bottom Bolton Wanderers, manager Sir Alex Ferguson is taking absolutely nothing for granted, saying that at such a stage in the season, each game is as important as the next...

Big Games

Sir Alex has called for full focus on Wednesday's game despite a crunch clash coming up this weekend against rivals Liverpool. The Bolton meeting serves as their game in hand and a chance to go three points clear of Arsenal — currently already leading them on goal difference — and also, United's recent close encounter at rock-bottom Derby County has served as a wake-up call to the league leaders to take nothing for granted.

“There are big games coming up and Liverpool is one of them, especially when you consider Chelsea are playing Arsenal on the same day," began Ferguson, “but when you see what happened at Derby on Saturday, not taking our chances, you realise you can't take anything for granted.

“Sure, there are big weekends ahead but the other matches are just as important.

“If we perform well and take our chances then we'll win the match. But it's important we respect our opponents.

“Some of our football recently has been terrific and there's good penetration in the team. It's encouraging that we're making so many chances, perhaps the forwards just need to relax a little in front of goal. Then the goals will come.â€

The Fight

The Trotters find themselves in a spot of bother having lost to ten-man Wigan this weekend, but Ferguson is aware of the different challenges that then poses to his side, who are facing a team with their backs against the wall.

“Bolton are fighting for survival and any team down there has to fight," said Sir Alex. “I thought they had got themselves clear for a while and hit a bit of form — but, in this league, if you lose a couple of games, you can find yourselves back in the mix.

“Derby are in a terrible position and you expect them to go down. Fulham are the next one but there is a scramble to avoid the other place.

“You've got Wigan, Birmingham, Reading, Sunderland and Bolton all there — fighting to survive. When you are down there it is not easy."

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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
Megson Eyeing Chance To Do Double Over United

Bolton manager Gary Megson is hoping his side can throw a major spanner into the works at the top of the Premier League by completing a shock double over Manchester United - because it would give Wanderers a priceless three points in their bid to beat the drop.

Bolton Wanderers achieved one of the results of the season last November when they stunned defending Premier League champions Manchester United by beating them 1-0 at the Reebok.

Now, despite being third-from bottom in the table and fighting for their top-flight lives, Wanderers have the chance to pull off a shock double against the Red Devils when they visit Old Trafford tonight.

And given their increasingly desperate need for points to haul themselves out of the Premier League relegation zone, an unlikely victory tonight would be just what the doctor ordered.

Bolton have lost four successive League games going into this match, but have the confidence of knowing they can beat United, having done so four months ago.

Furthermore, they achieved victories at Old Trafford in successive seasons back in 2002 and 2003.

Manager Gary Megson is confident that his players will raise their game for the big occasion, although he needs them to take a similarly focused attitude into games supposedly smaller clubs than Manchester United.

"I take heart from the way we played against Manchester United earlier in the season because if we'd done that in every other game this season we'd be way higher up the league," Megson told Sky Sports.

"But we haven't and that is a difficulty. You would think you would be able to do it but we haven't managed to do it when we've been playing against teams who haven't got the kudos of Manchester United."

Megson was furious with his players for their woeful performance at fellow-strugglers Wigan on Sunday, when the Latics won 1-0 despite Bolton having brought back nine supposedly fresh and rested first-teamers for the six-pointer.

The Bolton boss is hoping his players don't let him and the fans down again in their second successive Lancashire derby.

"We let ourselves down badly and we've got to get a response from everybody. We've got to go there and do what we were doing before the Wigan game, which is always giving it our best shot.

"It was a poor performance and a shocking result for us at Wigan, but we were masters of our own downfall.

"I can accept it if at times we don't pass it well or dribble well or whatever. But we just didn't get up for the game, which is something I hope never to see again."

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Discussion Starter · #67 ·
Ronaldo Breaks Best Record As United Go Three Points Clear

Manchester United 2-0 Bolton Wanderers

Manchester United moved three points clear at the top of the Barclays Premier League with a clinical victory over relegation-haunted Bolton Wanderers. It was another outstanding performance in a glittering season for Cristiano Ronaldo, who netted both first-half goals - the second a trademark free-kick - with compatriot Nani also impressive for the defending champions.

Bolton, who twice had the ball in the net, only to have both efforts disallowed, had a good second-half and showed enough to suggest they might be able to battle clear of the drop. But at Old Trafford they were simply not good enough to take any points off the Premier League leaders.

Ronaldo was named captain for the night as United manager Sir Alex Ferguson made seven changes from the side that narrowly defeated Derby County at the weekend.

Wayne Rooney was on the bench, with Rio Ferdinand and Ryan Giggs rested completely as Ferguson flaunted to his rivals the strength in depth of the squad at his disposal.

Goalkeeper Ben Foster's hopes of retaining his place after impressing on his United debut against Derby were thwarted as Tomasz Kuszczak, his suspension served, was brought back.

Bolton manager Gary Megson made four changes from their morale-sapping defeat at Wigan on Sunday. Abdoulaye Meite, Gavin McCann, Joey O'Brien and Danny Guthrie came in for Kevin Nolan and Gary Cahill, both injured, with Ivan Campo and Tamir Cohen both dropped.

After only two minutes the decision to recall Kuszczak looked rash as the Pole sliced his clearance, but was lucky enough to have Nemanja Vidic on hand to clear the danger.

However, the pattern of the early play - indeed almost the whole of the first-half - was one of Manchester United dominance, the Red Devils keeping possession with ease.

On eight minutes, Carlos Tevez was played through one-on-one with Al Habsi by Louis Saha, and rounded the Bolton keeper, only for Gardner to race across and clear the ball for a corner.

A minute later, United took the lea. Nani's corner from the right found Ronaldo after a scramble in the Bolton penalty area., and the Portuguese winger made no mistake with a powerful shot from eight yards that gave Al Habsi no hance.

United continued to keep possession at willing, and looked certain to add to their score. Nani cut in from the left and fired a powerful shot just over the bar from 25 yards.

At the other end, Bolton briefly threatened when Gutherie's cross from the right wing was met by Kevin Davies, whose well-struck volley was turned away by Kuszczak.

But on 19 minutes, Ronaldo won a free-kick in a shooting position after being fouled by Abdoulaye Meite, and fired in a swerving shot from 25 yards that again left Al Habsi with no chance as it flew past him into the net for another stunning goal.

His second goal of the night was Ronaldo's 23rd Premier League goal of the season and his 33rd goal of the campaign in all competitions, taking him past the record set by George Best in 1968 of 32 goals in a single season by a winger.

Matty Taylor sent in a half-volley from the edge of the United area but it bounced down into the the ground and up into the arms of Kuszczak.

But although Bolton were beginning to enjoy a little of possession of their own, they could make no real headway.

And U nited soon underlined their superiority again when Nani's corner from the left was headed towards the far corner of the net by Vidic, only for Gutherie to clear it off the line.

Ten minutes before half-time, Tevez danced his way past several Bolton defenders but then shot straight at Al Habsi, before Nani sent a powerful effort narrowly over the bar from just inside the area.

After the break, with Megson introducing Nicky Hunt for Meite and Steinsson switching to the centre of defence, Bolton fought their way back into the game with a good spell of pressure. After Al Habsi saved well from Nani, Hunt dispossessed the Portuguese youngster with aplomb as he teried to run onto Ronaldo's through-ball, and then Nani again blocked Taylor's effort from 30 yards as Bolton retaliated.

Eleven minutes into the second period, Pique conceded a free-kick on the edge of the United area when he controlled the ball with his hand, and El-Hadji Diouf ehipped the free-kick in early, beyond Kuszczak and into the back of the net. However, the referee ordered the visitors to take it again as he hadn't blown his whistle. Diouf's second attempt was comfortably saved by Kuszczak and frustrated Bolton had seen their best chance of a goal disappear.

However, Davies appealed for a penalty when he tumbled in the area under Tevez's clumsy challenge, but the ref waved play-on. Then, on the hour mark, Hunt's half-volley from 35 yards was brilliantly tipped over the bar by Kuszczak.

Gavin McCann's drive from 25 yards was turned round his left hand post for another corner by the suddenly busy - and effective - Kuszczak, as Bolton found themselves bossing proceedings.

But the tide began to turn back in United's favour when no breakthrough came, and Ronaldo was denied a hat-trick when his drive from just inside the Bolton area was superbly turned away by Al Habsi, enjoying a fine game in Jaaskelainen's absence.

Rooney and Scholes came on for Manchester United in place of Saha, who had largely disappointed, and Anderson, who had been hard-working and effective.

Nani turned Gardner on the edge of the box and fired in a shot that flew narrowly over, before Tevez controlled Rooney's pin-point pass but sliced his shot wide of Al Habsi's left hand post from close-range.

In the final minute, Diouf's free-kick from the left found its way to Bolton substitute Stelios Giiannakopoulos, who took the ball round Kuszczak and passed it into the empty net, only for referee Alan Wiley to judge that Taylor had pushed Pique in the build-up, and disallow the goal.

So the game ended with United three points better off than Arsenal and looking ominously comfortable at the top, while Bolton remain in the bottom three.


Man Utd: Kuszczak, Fletcher, Pique, Vidic, O'Shea, Ronaldo, Hargreaves, Anderson, Nani, Saha, Tevez.
Subs: Foster, Evra, Brown, Rooney, Scholes

Bolton: Al Habsi, Steinsson, Meite, Andrew O'Brien, Gardner, Diouf, McCann, Guthrie, Joey O'Brien, Taylor, Davies.
Subs: Walker, Hunt, Giannakopoulos, Campo, Rasiak

Referee: Alan Wiley (Staffordshire)

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Discussion Starter · #69 ·
Megson: We Didn't Look Like A Relegation Side

Bolton Wanderers suffered their fifth successive Premier League defeat at Old Trafford as leaders and defending champions Manchester United beat them 2-0. But their performance offered some encouragement for manager Gary Megson.

Bolton boss Gary Megson saw the Trotters beaten but unbowed at Old Trafford. Manchester United won 2-0 thanks to two goals by the prolific Cristiano Ronaldo.

It took them three points clear at the top but left Wanderers marooned in the bottom three. However, Megson was buoyed by his team's overall performance despite a fifth straight loss.

"We caused our own downfall in the first half with two set-pieces," Megson told Sky Sports. "We were sloppy on the first one and one or two things happened to cause us to lose that goal.

"Any team in the Premiership, when a goal down, you have to open up and cause yourself problems."

However, he had no complaints about Ronaldo's second goal. "The second goal was genius and I don't know how he does that, and most of our players are talking about it. It was a fantastic strike."

Megson was happy with the way his side responded in the second half, and he is confident they can get themselves out of relegation trouble.

"To be fair to the players then we had probably more chances to score in this game than we have had for quite a few games and that is at Old Trafford, when 2-0 down, so we did okay.

"The pleasing thing is we did okay, but the most important thing is we realise why we have done okay and take that forward into the next eight games because we didn't look like a bottom three team.

"The results we have just had, five [defeats] on the belt does look like a bottom three [team] but I think there is cause for optimism even at this late stage of the season."
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