Wanderers hosted Man United at the Reebok Saturday evening. The first half was argy-bargy as both teams wrestled for control. Each side had chances during the often end-to-end passages of play. The breakthrough was fortunate for United and abysmal for Bolton when Samual carelessly own-goaled right before the interval.
Bolton continued playing well in the second half; United continued to play better. Berbatov tapped home after 60 total following an audacious left-footed strike by Fletcher. Nani reamed his opposite full-back after 78 played with skill to setup another tap-in for Berbatov 3-0. Nani did the same thing five minutes later for Gibson to finish, 4-0.
van der Sar (8 ) It’s not a goalie’s fault when he doesn’t have that much to do. He is, though, accountable for what is tasked of him. The Dutchman made a world-class save today, his second of the season for those counting. His distribution was fine, and he had several important decisions to make as Bolton piled their meatshields forward, despite Wanderers only shooting on target five times. Clean sheet.
Neville (7 ) Some United fans think Neville has little left, but against sides like Bolton he’s very serviceable. Sure, he’s ploddingly slow; but he’s wily: That’s why everyone hates him. Still a quality footballer, if not defender.
Evans (6.5 ) Unable to redeem his form from last season, the Northern Irishman at least put a decent game under his belt today. Bolton are a challenging team for opposing backlines. They’re huge, and a few of them can even play. Therefore, Evans had to be big today, and he was big enough.
Vidic (9 ) Is there a better style matchup for Vidic than Kevin Davies? The Serbian monster was at home in the trenches today. He’ll be gutted he didn’t finish the match with a bloody nose. The happiest player on the pitch not to smile, Vida enjoyed himself thoroughly today, as all observing neutrals should have. Dominant. Brilliant.