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Wednesday, 30 January, 2002, 04:41 GMT
Man Utd crush Bolton
Solskjaer was in brilliant form for United
Solskjaer heads United's second goal
Bolton 0-4 Manchester United
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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer scored a hat-trick as Manchester United bounced back emphatically from consecutive defeats against Liverpool and Middlesbrough.

United played with pace and purpose and enjoyed a phenomenal amount of success attacking down the left-hand side.

Sir Alex Ferguson recalled David Beckham, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Ryan Giggs to the starting line-up and all had a major impact on the game.

  Key moments
15 mins: Solskjaer scores for United
39 mins: Solskjaer doubles United's lead
45 mins: Barthez brilliantly saves from Ricketts
64 mins: Solskjaer scores his hat-trick
84 mins: Van Nistelrooy scores
Giggs was a constant menace down the left, Beckham's teasing crosses led to the second and third goals and Van Nistelrooy scored the game's final goal.

Diego Forlan - replacing Solskjaer with 15 minutes left - made his United debut and the victory means United have opened up a four-point gap at the top of the Premier League.

Bolton had their chances but were twice denied by Fabien Barthez.

Sam Allardyce's men have now gone 10 games without victory in the Premier League and have not won at home since August.

Bolton found their rhythm quicker and might have scored through Fredi Bobic, but the on-loan striker missed the target from short range after a dangerous cross from Michael Ricketts.

We didn't concentrate defensively and their first goal knocked the stuffing out of us.
Bolton boss Sam Allardyce
United opening the scoring with their first meaningful attack of the game - a dynamic break, devastating in its simplicity.

A promising Bolton attack broke down and Van Nistelrooy - deep in his own half - passed to Giggs, who charged up the left wing, exploiting acres of open space.

Once inside the Bolton penalty area, Giggs threaded a square ball to Solskjaer, who clinically side-footed home from eight yards.

Another precise move down the left from United after 29 minutes created a scoring chance for Giggs, whose shot on the turn from 10 yards was well saved by Jussi Jaaskelainen.

And it was another break down the left that ultimately led to United's second goal.

The move culminated in a powerful shot from the edge of the Bolton area by Roy Keane, which Jaaskelainen parried and Whitlow put out for a corner.

This is the time of year now that we have to step forward and we need performances like that.
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson
Beckham's corner was met very early by Solskjaer, who superbly angled the ball into the Bolton goal with a deft header.

On the stroke of half-time Bolton almost grabbed a badly needed goal.

United's defence was unlocked by a superb one-two, but Rickett's powerhouse short-range volley was athletically saved by Barthez.

Less than a minute into the second Giggs - after yet another marauding run down the left - hit the post with a low shot across Jaaskelainen.

Jaaskelainen picks the ball out of the net
Jaaskelainen picks the ball out of the net - again
Undaunted, Bolton pushed forward and almost pulled one back after 53 minutes.

A deep cross was met by Ricketts but the burly striker was again foiled by Barthez.

Solskjaer completed his hat-trick with almost 30 minutes left.

The Norwegian again met a Beckham cross early and directed the ball into the Bolton goal.

Solskjaer, Beckham and Van Nistelrooy all went close before the Dutch striker scored his 16th goal of the campaign in the last 10 minutes.

Appropriately, the goal was a product of a tidy move down the left, with Giggs crossing for the unmarked striker to tap home from short range.

Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Southall (Charlton 45), Bergsson, Whitlow, Gardner, Hansen (Johnson 59), Nolan, Barness, Farrelly, Bobic (Holdsworth 75), Ricketts.
Subs Not Used: Poole, Pedersen.

Man Utd: Barthez, Phil Neville, Gary Neville, Blanc (O'Shea 72), Silvestre, Beckham, Keane (Butt 73), Scholes, Giggs, Solskjaer (Forlan 76), van Nistelrooy.
Subs Not Used: Carroll, Brown.


Referee: A D'Urso (Billericay).

BBC Sport's Alan Green
"Some important decisions went against Bolton"
Man Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson
"We were very positive tonight"
Bolton boss Sam Allardyce
"They showed the quality that they have got"
Links to more Eng Prem stories are at the foot of the page.


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