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Last Updated: Saturday, 28 October 2006, 15:53 GMT 16:53 UK
Bolton 0-4 Man Utd
By Howard Nurse

Wayne Rooney ended his goal-drought at Bolton
Rooney was back to his best for Man Utd
A Wayne Rooney treble kept Manchester United top of the table as Bolton lost at home for the first time this season.

Rooney slammed United into an early lead after receiving a perfect pass from England team-mate Michael Carrick.

And he made it two with a cool curling shot from just outside the box as United dominated the early stages.

Bolton were unable to hit back and Cristiano Ronaldo slotted in a third before the brilliant Rooney completed his hat-trick with a fine solo effort.

United - with Ronaldo restored to the right after a virus - went at Bolton from the off with Ryan Giggs releasing Patrice Evra who forced Jussi Jaaskelainen to make a smart save.


Both sides went into the game on the backs of their best ever starts to a Premiership campaign but Bolton were left looking distinctly second best.

Saha had a clipped effort cleared off the line by Abdoulaye Meite before United deservedly took a 10th-minute lead.

Rooney, who had gone 10 matches for club and country without a goal, was in no mood to let the drought continue four days after turning 21.

Carrick threaded a glorious through ball from the half-way line to Rooney who lashed home first time with his left foot from 12 yards.

Bolton were soon punished again when Gary Neville ventured forward down the right and the ball ricocheted off Tal Ben Haim to Rooney who curled home his second with slide-rule perfection from 20 yards.

Wanderers needed a quick route back into the game and Gary Speed - making his 493rd Premiership appearance - lashed a free-kick wide of the post.

Giggs was denied just before half time when Jaaskelainen brilliantly parried his opportunist shot away to safety.

Bolton did manage to apply some mild pressure on the United goal with Abdoulaye Faye heading over an El-Hadji Diouf corner - but Edwin van der Sar was not seriously tested in the opening 45 minutes.

United had to do some defending early in the second period when Bolton were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position only for Nicolas Anelka to drive just over the crossbar.

Sir Alex Ferguson called for renewed urgency from the visitors after seeing his side go off the boil, seemingly content to sit on their two-goal advantage ahead of a mid-week Champions League trip to Copenhagen.

Evra was stretchered off and replaced by Gabriel Heinze on the hour and Bolton briefly threatened mid-way through the second half, though Nemanja Vidic was a rock in the United defence.

The game opened up again and United wasted a great chance when Saha was set up by Ronaldo and saw his shot superbly saved by Jaaskelainen's flailing left hand.

Van der Sar was finally called into action when he preserved United's advantage by blocking Campo's close-range shot.

But it was all over with eight minutes left when Saha teed-up Ronaldo to slot in United's third from close range.

And Rooney made sure he went home with the matchball when he latched on to a pass from Darren Fletcher and lashed in his third to complete an awesome afternoon for the England star.

  • Bolton boss Sam Allardyce:
    "Wayne Rooney has proved beyond doubt he's the best English player in the Premiership.

    "His hat-trick was well deserved and it just shows the people who were writing him off were talking nonsense.

    "Apart from the third goal, there was very little we could do to stop him. The first two were magnificent goals made of outstanding quality."

  • Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson:

    "It was going to happen sooner or later. I spoke to Wayne and told him to relax and keep concentrating.

    "Once he got the first one, you could see the confidence coming back and after that, I was just hoping the ball would go to him all the time.

    "There is a growing confidence within the club, we are looking very strong."

    Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Hunt (Pedersen 69), Faye, Meite, Ben Haim, Giannakopoulos (Tal 83), Campo, Speed, Diouf, Davies (Smith 85), Anelka.
    Subs Not Used: Walker, Vaz Te. Booked: Davies, Ben Haim.

    Man Utd: Van der Sar, Neville, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra (Heinze 61), Ronaldo, Carrick, Scholes, Giggs (Fletcher 83), Saha (O'Shea 82), Rooney.
    Subs Not Used: Kuszczak, Solskjaer.

    Booked: Scholes, O'Shea.

    Goals: Rooney 10, 16, Ronaldo 82, Rooney 89.

    Att: 27,229.

    Ref: R Styles (Hampshire).

    Saturday's football photos
    28 Oct 06 |  Football
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