Six Things We Learned from Bolton Wanderers vs Manchester United
The blue half of Manchester were singing with glee over their victory against Wigan Athletic, but just 20 miles away from Old Trafford, travelling fans of the Red Devils were singing "Are you Arsenal in disguise?" to the Bolton Wanderers players.
The match was, by no means, an easy one, but the scoreline flatters to deceive. On a day when United were tipped by its critics to struggle and de Gea to be rammed repeatedly by Kevin Davies, read on to see what can be learned from the match.
1. Jonny Evans Is Assured a Place in the Man Utd Team
After some glaringly dismal performances in the previous season, the 23-year-old Red Devil from Ulster has shown his pedigree with a fine performance against Bolton Wanderers. With a yellow card-generating machine in the form of Kevin Davies, Evans managed to subdue him, and the Bolton center-forward hardly had a sniff at goal. Rio Ferdinand had earlier said that "That lad (Evans) is giving me a run for my money, and he'll eventually take my place in the team."
He may have been substituted in the second half as a precautionary measure to an injury, but he's slowly cementing his side in the team.
2. Depth of the Squad Will Hold the Red Devils Good in Testing Times
Injuries were something which Sir Alex Ferguson had feared would happen eventually, and as two of the three substitutions were made as a result of injury, the substitutes who came on gave their best performances.
Chris Smalling continued where Jonny Evans left off, Ryan Giggs manned the left midfield area after replacing Ashley Young, and Michael Carrick ably filled the void in midfield left as a result of Cleverley's injury. Not to mention Michael Owen, Dimitar Berbatov and Ji Sung Park didn't even get to see action on the pitch, added to Kiko Macheda and Mame Birame Diouf waiting patiently for their chance on the sidelines.
The current team of Manchester United can field THREE separate teams if they wish to, and they look ready and raring to take on any team in their path.
3. David De Gea's Performace Was First Class
When Edwin Van Der Sar hung up his boots, the biggest ask from David de Gea was to fill them. From David oh Dea on his debut against West Bromwich Albion to David de Yea against Bolton Wanderers (no pun intended), he has started to show why Manchester United brought him in the first place. His saves were good, his anticipation was better, and his distribution was wonderful. His quick collection and first time pass to Javier Hernandez had him through for goal that the Mexican couldn't convert.
Agreed, he might have been seldom troubled by the Bolton frontline, but he proved his mettle. If this was David de Gea's acid test, then he's passed it with flying colors.
4. Anderson Is on Song and on Fire
Almost a year back at this exact time, Anderson was slowly recovering from an injury which had kept him out of action for more than six months.
In an interview, he did admit that he would do his best to step up to fill the void left by Paul Scholes, and fill that he has done admirably well so far. One instance where he showed his real class was a free kick which was destined for the far right corner from the edge of the box, only to be palmed away by Jussi Jaaskelainen. He dictated the tempo in midfield and showed why United payed top money to bring him to Old Trafford from Porto.
The Brazilian magician only seems to be getting better and is slowly winning over the fans while becoming an integral part of the team.
5. United and City Are Running the Show
When Roberto Mancini brought in Sergio Aguero from Atletico Madrid, he had one thing in mind: To challenge United for the Premier League Title and prove that they were more than pretenders to the throne. With both sides banging in goals for fun and making the score card look like cricket scores, there is an air of certainty that this year's Premier League title will be hotly contested by the two sides from Manchester.
True, there is always the challenge from Chelsea and Liverpool, but neither side are yet to reach the level at which both the sides from Manchester are playing. United and City seem to be communicating with each other via their own scorelines, and it looks like their meeting date on the 23rd of October will be one to decide in which direction the Barclays Premier League trophy will be headed.
6. Wayne Rooney Is in the Form of His Life
Is it the hair plugs? Or is it a bit more maturity, which was lacking in him? Whatever it is, Wayne Mark Rooney has ensured that this year he will inscribe his name onto the annals of history, in Old Trafford, England and, possibly, Europe. Two hat-tricks in as many matches, he has hit a fine vein of scoring and is already setting his sights on far more records this year.
His partnership and understanding with Javier Hernandez is very similar to that of Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole, and they only seem to be getting better when playing together.
With not so easy oppositions to encounter in the next few weeks, the Manchester United No. 10 would be licking his lips, anticipating a wondrous challenge for him to prove his credentials as one of the best footballers in the world.
So, there we have it, six lessons we learned from the Bolton Wanderers vs Manchester United match! Feel free to leave your comments/criticisms/suggestions. Cheers!