Date: 15th January 2012 at 10:47am
Written by:
Antonio Valencia

Tony V - MOTM

Manchester United avoided three League defeats in a row with a convincing win over a struggling Bolton Wanderers.

Despite being in control throughout it took United until injury time in the first half to make the breakthrough with Paul Scholes burying Rooney’s cross at the back post on his Premier League return. Welbeck then poked the ball past Bogdan into Bolton’s net to put United two ahead before Carrick rounded the match up with a well took strike from outside the area to end the match at 3-0.

United were comfortably in control throughout and should maybe have netted more. The backline did not have much to worry about as they kept Bolton out with ease and never really looked under threat from conceding with Rio Ferdinand in particular looking solid.

There was also an impressive performance from Carrick who started the match the most lively making a good couple of interceptions and a well timed vital challenge before opening Bolton up with a superb pass to put Welbeck through on goal. Carrick continued the match just as well, helping the defence out and also starting attacks with his clever passing.

Welbeck also looked bright for United as his pace and energy kept United’s attack looking sharp and threatening throughout as he battled for every ball that came his way before managing to net a goal. It was unfortunate he had to forfeit his place to injury.

However, our Man of the Match had to be Valencia. United looked a threat to Bolton throughout the whole match mainly due to the hard-work of Valencia whose diligence really deserved better finishing products from his team mates.

Ricketts had a woeful day as he was tormented for 90 minutes at the ever so clever feet of Valencia. Every time Valencia beat him down his flank, sometimes even pulling the ball back to beat him again. His quick feet and skills never gave Ricketts a chance as the Ecuadorian winger glided down the right hand side of the field.

After beating whichever of the opposition attempted to get in his way, usually poor Ricketts, Valencia whipped some dangerous crosses into the Bolton area. Had it not been for the confidence of Bolton’s goalkeeper, Bogdan, more could have come from Valencia’s crosses.

Valencia kept United’s spark alive from beginning to end as he constantly looked to collect the ball and sneak his way down the line to get in behind the Bolton defence and wreck yet more havoc in the final third. The pacy winger is proving match after match to be United’s inspiration in attack at the moment, seemingly unplayable for any defence in the league. Valencia’s energy and constant threat may well just prove to be vital to United in the second half of the season as they mount their challenge to reclaim top spot in the Premier League.

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