Bolton 0-4 Manchester United
Samuel 38 (og)
Berbatov 69, 78
Manchester United eventually cruised to a convincing-looking victory at Bolton’s Reebok Stadium.
But they were made to fight hard for an hour against Owen Coyle’s men before their class told, in the shapes of Dimitar Berbatov and much-criticised Portuguese winger Nani.
United lined-up without Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand, both resting niggling injuries before Tuesday’s Champions League encounter in Munich.
But with replacements of the calibre of Ryan Giggs, they weren’t unduly affected by the absentees.
They were grateful to 39-year-old keeper Edwin Van der Sar for first-half saves from Johan Elmander and Patrice Muamba, the latter a particularly acrobatic effort.
But shortly before Muamba’s 20-yard effort, United had taken the lead when Giggs’ relatively harmless cross from the left was turned into his own net with unwanted aplomb by Jlloyd Samuel on 38 minutes.
Berbatov doubled United’s advantage on 69 minutes, following-up after Bolton keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen parried Darren Fletcher’s shot straight to him.
It was three-nil nine minutes later, Nani’s trickery down the left and pinpoint cross setting up Berbatov for a skilful finish with the outside of his right-foot.
And Nani was provider again on 82 minutes, substitute Darron Gibson firing home via keeper’s hands and crossbar.
Tags: Manchester United, Bolton, Dimitar Berbatov, Jlloyd Samuel, Darron Gibson