Styles creates United-Bolton game controversy
By Andrew Cuff
Monday 29 Sep 2008 10:57:00
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Manchester United took on Bolton Wanderers at Old Trafford in Saturday‘s match. A big match for a points starved United who have had more draws than wins and strangely found themselves in 15th place in the Premier league a measly point ahead of Bolton.

United starting line up seeing a familiar defence, with Van Der Sar in goal again after returning from a minor injury, Neville, Vidic, Ferdinand and Evra. The midfield we saw a few surprises with Park on the left, Ronaldo on the right, Anderson and Fletcher securing the central midfield. Tevez and Berbatov make up United’s attacking pair. Rooney, Scholes and Evans the 3 players on the bench who did play against Chelsea last weekend in the draw. Players to watch on the Bolton side are Nolan and keeper Jaaskelainen.

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Rob Styles the match referee as the game kicked off at 3 PM. The first half saw Bolton starting off on the right foot with a shot at Van Der Sar within the first few minutes of the half and Bolton saw great possession in the first quarter of an hour of the match. There dominance didn’t last long as United started to find their feet and dominate the game. Anderson, Berbatov and Fletcher making great passes to each other and setting up Berbatov and Tevez on a number of occasions though the shots often lacked the necessary finishing touch to get it past Jaaskelainen, who it must be said was on top form throughout the match. United dominating possession throughout the rest of the half though they could so easily have been a goal down after Muamba missed the best opportunity of the game. After shooting the ball wide within 8 yards of the goal and totally unmarked. Shots rained down on the Bolton keeper; Park coming the closest with a rebound off Jaaskelainen after Tevez blasted the ball from 25 yards out, Park could not slot the rebound away. United and Bolton went into the half time interval knowing opportunities had been wasted and United had dominated possession. Would Muamba be made to regret his miss.

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The second half started the same way the first half ended with United linking numerous passes together and Ronaldo hitting the post of the Bolton net within the first 5 minutes of the game. Berbatov and Park then linked up well though once again United were denied by last ditch defending from the Bolton squad who were held hostage in their own half. Styles then gifted Ronaldo the first goal in the 60th minute after Jlloyd Samuel was judged to have made an illegal tackle. Everyone apart from Styles was surprised when he pointed to the spot for a penalty; the Bolton defender clearly got the ball and thus stopping Ronaldo’s run into the box. A very unusual and surprising decision from Styles and it is not the first time in his career that he has got big decisions wrong. Ferguson and Ronaldo were both amazed when the referee pointed to the spot. A trademark penalty kick from Ronaldo sent the keeper the wrong way and took United into a 1 - 0 lead, controversially. Ferguson making the normal 60th minute substitutions with Tevez and Anderson making way for Rooney and Scholes shortly after the goal. A warm welcome greeted both players as Rooney started leaving a mark on the game and making great passes and looking in top form from his first touch. It was hardly surprising to United fans then when a back heel from Ronaldo fell right into Rooney’s path , who fake shot, wrong footing the defender and giving Rooney plenty of time to curl the ball beautifully into the back of the net past the Bolton keeper. Rooney adding his name to the score sheet giving United a 2 - 0 lead. The pressure did not stop there as both Scholes and Berbatov adding shots on goal, though the game finished 2 - 0. Three points that United deserved after a brilliant match, dominating from the word go, Styles’ decision giving rise to controversy. Looking at the game without that goal, United I feel would still have walked away with the three points. Moving up the league table to 11th position with a game in hand; those 3 points place them in shooting distance of Hull in 6th place. Wigan ended up being on the receieving end of another controversial penalty decision giving Manchester City a small point ahead of the recovering United.

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Tuesday sees United take on Aalborg away in the Champions League with a 19:45 BST kick off on ITV4. This win will give United great confidence ahead of this vital clash as Celtic take on Villarreal in the other group game.

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