Man U beat Bolton 4-0

Wayne Rooney returned to form in spectacular style, hitting a superb hat trick as Manchester United stormed to a 4-0 victory over Bolton on Saturday.

updated: February 25, 2007 11:37 IST
  • Total Shares


Wayne Rooney returned to form in spectacular style, hitting a superb hat trick as Manchester United stormed to a 4-0 victory over Bolton Wanderers on Saturday. A sparkling performance from Rooney was too much for Bolton at their Reebok Stadium, as Sir Alex Ferguson's side cemented their position at the top of the Premier League table. Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo had the other goal to round off a perfect afternoon's work for Ferguson's men, proving that they are more than capable of mounting a serious title challenge this season. The United boss was delighted with his side's comprehensive performance, and insisted he was not surprised at the return of Rooney's scoring touch. "It was a fantastic win," Ferguson said, "especially when you consider that before today Bolton had not conceded a goal at home. This is a really tough place to come, and that makes the standard and the quality of football that we played that much more pleasing. "There were some moments when I thought we looked uneasy at the back, but overall I thought we controlled the game. Wayne was at the heart of most of our attacking play. I thought he was tremendous today and he fully deserved his hat trick. To be honest, those goals have been coming for a few games now, because he has been playing so well without actually scoring." Man U dominates Both United and Bolton went into this game on their best starts to a Premiership campaign, but with just 10 minutes gone, the visitors had established a dominance that was never broken. Four days after turning 21, Rooney celebrated by breaking his 10-match goal drought by running onto a beautifully weighted pass from Michael Carrick and firing home with a first time left-foot shoot. It was not long before Rooney punished Bolton's sloppy play again. Gary Neville raided down the right-hand side and whipped in a cross that deflected off Bolton defender Tal Ben Haim straight into the path of Rooney. The England striker dispatched the chance with ruthless efficiency, sliding the ball home with perfection from 20 yards out to make it 2-0. Bolton battled to get back into the game with Gary Speed curling a free-kick just wide of the United goal and Abdoulaye Faye heading over an Ed-Hadji Diouf cross, but United goalkeeper Edwin van der Saar was barely tested in the opening 45 minutes. But they were under pressure from the home side early in the second half when Nicolas Anelka drove just over the crossbar from a dangerous position. United's flow was further disrupted when Patrice Evra was stretchered off to be replaced by Gabriel Heinze, but Ferguson's side were not sluggish for long. Bolton were soon carved apart again and Ronaldo set up Louis Saha, who saw his rasping shot well saved by home goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen. At the other end, the under-worked van der Saar was finally called into action when he made a smart block to deny Ivan Campo's shot. But any Bolton resistance was finally quashed 10 minutes from time when Saha laid on a great chance for Ronaldo and he made no mistake from close range as he shot home to make it 3-0. Not to be upstaged, Rooney made sure he went home with the matchball when he raced onto Darren Fletcher's pass and lashed home his third goal of the game to complete the 4-0 rout. Although on the end of a superb United performance, Sam Allardyce admitted his team had not been good enough. "We didn't stick to our game plan," he said. "We gave United too much possession and allowed them too much space in crucial areas. When you stand off United and let them come at you it is asking for trouble because they are an excellent side with the kind of quality players that can take you apart. "They were in great form. Rooney was almost unplayable, his movement and vision was superb and it was tough for us to get near him. It was a bad day for us, and now we need to get back on the training ground and make sure we hit back next week." The victory gave United 25 points in their opening 10 games and they're on top of the Premiership on goal difference from close rivals Chelsea.