Manchester United 3-0 Bolton – as it happened
Paul Scholes scored on his full debut for Manchester United as Bolton’s timidity let a clearly superior but profligate opposition have their way.
90 min + 3: Probably the last shot of the game, as Tuncay lets fly from about twenty-five yards on the left, but it’s well wide. It is indeed, it’s full time.
90 + 1 min: Tuncay strokes a ball onto the head of Ngog, who knocks it back for Pratley. He has time and space but can only drag a shot a yard wide of goal. This game’s almost done.
90 min: Valencia fizzes a ball to Hernandez at the near post, but his flicked effort is hit too well and misses the target. There are three minutes left.
89 min; Some neat passing with Giggs and Rooney, and Ji-Sung Park almost gets to Rooney’s through ball down the left, but United instead win a corner from Steinsson, but nothing comes from it. As you expect.
88 min: Petrov jogs off, and Tuncay comes on.
87 min: Ngog and Ferdinand jump for a cross, and bash heids. Ngog comes off worse, but should be fine.
85 min: Valencia again bursts into the box, but a defender, with hair, manages to tackle him and win a goal kick at the same time. Good defending from the man with the hair.
Goal! Manchester United 3-0 Bolton (Carrick). Fantastic from Michael Carrick. He picks the ball up in space as Giggs rolls the ball across midfield. He advances, totally unchallenged, and passes, left-footed, precisely into the ‘keeper’s right hand post. A great strike.
82 min: Valencia, who has been close to his best today, drives into the box, and fires a cross into the six yard box. Gerd Muller would have turned that one in, but no other striker could get to it, possibly because it was stuck so fiercely.
80 min: Rio Ferdinand bombs down the left, cuts inside to pass into Hernandez. His pass, to Evra, is cleared though. Pratley replaces Muamba, who has had an intermittently decent game today.
77 min: Both Rooney and Welbeck injured themselves in the process of the goal. Rooney is on but limping a little having hurt his thigh, while Hernandez has replaced Welbeck.
75 min: Goal! Manchester United 2-0 Bolton (Welbeck). Rooney with a one -two in midfield with Giggs, and as Rooney gets space he’s bundled over, managing to thread a ball for Welbeck at the same time. Welbeck does well with a quick finish, low to Bogdan’s right.
69 min: Nani is coming off to be replaced by Ji-Sung Park, and Paul Scholes will be replaced by Ryan Giggs, increasing the average age of the side only marginally.
67 min: Reo-Coker does well on the inside left channel, and wins a corner as he gets to the byline, with a good tackle from Jonny Evans. It’s taken by Petrov, but drifts out. Bolton move the ball back to Petrov who is tackled by Rafael, and we’ve got another corner. It’s headed by Steinsson, and loops to Rafael to clear on the line.
66 min: The initial break falls apart, but Nani receives the ball on the left from Rooney, buggers about, and wins a corner as he attempts a cross.
64 min: Nani fouls Davies, and Bolton can cross from the right, about fifty yards from goal. Eventually Evans hoofs it clear, and United break.
61 min: Excellent stuff from Valencia, bursting from deep, skinning Wheater in the process, and his cross is met by Rooney, with an open goal. He just reaches the ball at the back post, but can’t put it on target. At the other end, Bolton’s cross is met by Petrov. He chests it down and lashes a shot at goal, only for Rafael to throw himself at it. You’d expect Rafael will have his customary injury as a result.
60 min: It seems to be another cowardly performance from Manchester United, defending in numbers and ludicrously against bloody Bolton. Bolton.
58 min: From the clearance Welbeck is given the ball by Nani, who runs forty yards, but again, he waits and waits and waits, allowing the chasing Mark Davies to put in an excellent sliding tackle to clear.
57 min: Nani slides in on an advancing Ngog about thirty five yards from goal. He should be booked, but isn’t. Does Walton have his cards? The free kick is cleared by Rafael.
56 min: A long ball towards Rooney, and he can’t withstand the attention of Reo-Coker and shoot. He wins the ball back and passes for Welbeck, who has been cautious in shooting all match and returns it to Rooney to drag a shot just wide.
55 min: Carrick with a dreadful pass to a Bolton shirt as United move out of defence. He is incredibly thick.
53 min: Valencia gets to the ball ahead of, I think, Steinsson, and finds himself with twenty yards of space. He powers to the byline, but his cross finds a Bolton ankle rather than a United foot. Now United have a corner after Welbeck gets to the box courtesy of a Rooney pass, but the corner is wasted.
52 min: Ngog controls a cross but is robbed by Scholes, as Carrick prepares to clear Ngog slides right into the back of the midfielder. It should be a booking, but weirdly, isn’t. I’m not sure he’s up to refereeing.
50 min: Like that. Evra dithers and is robbed by Mark Davies. He steams forward and pulls the ball back for Ngog, who tries to hit the ball as high as he possibly can, and succeeds. Ferdinand sold Evra short with his pass.
48 min: Bolton are hustled off the ball after a moment of possession. Most games this season United have struggled to make the same effort in the second half, so Bolton should go at them as hard as they can.
46 min: United attack in numbers but it breaks down quickly and they win a corner. Zat Knight, worryingly, has gone down injured and is receiving treatment.
45 min: Ngog with the first attack of the half, sending a speculative effort miles over.
Here’s the half time scores:
Aston Villa 0-0 Everton
Blackburn 0-0 Fulham
Chelsea 1-0 Sunderland
Liverpool 0-0 Stoke (a stinker, I’ve been told)
Manchester United 1-0 Bolton
Tottenham 0-1 Wolves (Oh, Harry)
West Brom 0-1 Norwich (Come on, Roy!)
Half time goals etc? Click this, it ‘s the excellent 101 Great Goals.
45 min + 1 min: That’s it, half time.
45 min! Goal! I’m fucking useless! Manchester United 1-0 Bolton (Scholes). Nani and Rooney play a one-two down the right. Nani’s cross comes back to Rooney, who switches the ball to the back post, where Scholes is able to turn it in simply.
44 min: A disappointing end for United to the half. They look tired already. A couple of minutes left for them to change something before half time, but it looks unliekly.
42 min: Wayne Rooney never looks like scoring his penalties. Steven Gerrard, for example, does. And that’s why Liverpool win league after league.
41 min: Rooney stretches at a ball from Nani, attempting to divert is towards Welbeck on his left, but can’t get enough of it. Welbeck would have been in space and likely to score. Rooney’s penalty could be crucial today.
40 min: The game’s gone quiet. How’s Vicente been doing at Brighton?
38 min: God, I’m good. It’s taken by Rooney, over the wall but too week to trouble Bogdan who is over in time to make a stooping save.
37 min: Reo-Coker with a small clip of Nani earns Manchester United a free kick from thirty yards, more or less central. Nani is going to take it.
35 min: Wonderful Cruyff turn from the sexx twin to befuddle Steinsson, but his cross is heaaded clear, as is Nani’s from the opposite wing.
33 min: Intae the wall.
33 min: Rio Ferdinand bums N’Gog a couple of yards outside the box. He falls to the ground and wins a free kick in a dangerous spot, Petrov looking to take.
33 min: There was a Bolton corner that Lindegaard claimed well, so it seemed less pressing than the email to write down.
32 min: He’s wee man Hamilton: ‘The whole package isn’t great, but Scholes still has the quickest brain and best control in this United squad by a mile. He’s the only player who doesn’t seem to shit himself under pressure. It’s the wee, stabby, toe-poked passes out of trouble that nobody else can do.’ Can’t disagree, as I’m not in the United squad this year.
30 min: United get some space in midfield, with Rooney given the space to shoot from thirty or so yards. He doesn’t catch it too badly, but it’s comfortably off target.
28 min: Bogdan again – down to his left to save well from Welbeck’s low shot from outside the area. The corner is rubbish.
26 min: Valencia in space again on the right, teases the left back and stands up a cross for Nani. It’s headed across goal for Rooney, who can only hook it over in a packed area. It looks to be a matter of time before they score.
24 min: Rafael with a poor cross, scuffed goalwards. You feel that both of the twins look increasingly expendable in the long term. Chris Eagles has a chance to score against his old team, but slices a long shot well wide.
22 min: Saved! Bogdan with a fantastic leap to his right. It was belted by Rooney, but at the wrong height. An excellent save, but Rooney has to stop making his penalties quite so easy to reach.
20 min: Penalty! Welbeck is through on goal, and Zat Knight bundles him over from behind. It’s a definite penalty, and a booking for Knight.
19 min: Welbeck tracks back to win the ball from the advancing N’gog, probably fouling him. He sprints towards goal, setting Nani to chase into the box. The slide tackle from a Bolton defender – David Wheater, I looked it up – concedes a corner, inevitably wasted.
17 min: Rooney switches the ball to Welbeck’s path, and after he runs straight into the defender returns the favour for Rooney to strike, deflected for a corner. From the corner, a United header is cleared off the line. United need Gerd Muller.
14 min: Valencia has room on the right, and puts in a dangerous cross to the near post, and Bolton concede a corner. It’s taken by Nani, woefully, but Muamba can only concede another corner. Jonny Evans flicks it on, but nobody gets to it. The ball is put back out for Nani to cross again, and this time Bolton watch it bobble in the box, but are first to get to it and the danger subsides.
13 min: Evra with his usual burst forward, and usual poor pass to end the move. If Manchester United had a decent central midfield they’d c0ntrol this game, such is the lack of Bolton’s ambition so far.
11 min: Excellent strength from Muamba to keep the ball under pressure from Rooney, and Bolton have their first prolonged spell of possession. Emails please.
10 min: No chances for a couple of minutes after Bogdan is out smartly to intercept a pass forwards, and Manchester United’s inevitable decline seems to have started earlier than the traditional second half dip.
7 min: Another United chance. Rooney threads a lovely ball down the channel for Valencia, who gets to the six yard box, twists left, then right, and puts in a low pass, just cut out by a Bolton defender. An excellent start by the home side.
5 min: Excellent save from Bogdan. A forty yard through ball is expertly weighted for Welbeck, whose shot on the edge of the area is forced over by the keeper. The first corner is wasted, and the second, to a lurking Rafael, is as well.
4 min: Scholes first involvement switching the ball from centre to right, and it’s overhit. At this rate, you can’t accuse Manchester United of missing Darron Gibson.
3 min: Here’s Ethan-Dean’-'Richards: ‘Manchester United have Paul Scholes as the solution to their midfield problem. Why is there not more outrage? More and more proof, even for the utterly thick, that the (give or take) richest club in the world has no money to spend, and the outrage just isn’t flowing – what the flip?’ Well, Ethan, people are idiots.
2 min: Excellent chance for Nani. Put free down the left with a measured Rooney pass, he cuts in from the left, but his curling shot goes wide for a goal kick.
1 min: We’re off, Manchester United losing the ball in two seconds, Bolton doing the same right after.
There’s a sexx twin fit! It’s Rafael, to be subbed off, injured, in the 67th minute.
Team news, hot off the fax:
Manchester United: Lindegaard; Rafael, Evans, Ferdinand, Evra; Valencia, Carrick, Scholes, Nani; Welbeck, Rooney
Subs: De Gea, Fabio, Pogba, Park, Giggs, Berbatov, Hernandez.
Bolton: Bogdan; Steinsson, Knight, Wheater, Ricketts; Eagles, Muamba, Reo-Coker, Petrov; M. Davies; Ngog.
Subs: Lynch, Riley, Boyata, Pratley, Tuncay, K. Davies, Klasnic.
I’m watching this before game starts. Phil Brown’s finest performance.
Preamble. Welcome. Try the lobster, it’s here all week. I’ll be covering the game today at the expense of reporting hot live scores from around the country, mainly because I only have so many hands, screens, brains and computers. If you can guess how many, it means you’ve spent too much time concentrating on my hands, screens, brains and computers instead of thinking about the full debut of Manchester United’s Paul Scholes. If he doesn’t make it, we might as well all go home.
More seriously, it’s an indictment of Manchester United and Ferguson. Owen Coyle’s indictment is Bolton. Gary Cahill’s done one to Chelsea, so maybe the defence will be less rocky. The game will start at 3pm, as will the sheer internet joy available to you.