Manchester United 2 Bolton Wanderers 0

Last updated : 26 December 2004 By Footymad Previewer
Ryan Giggs again let his feet do the talking as he bids to win a contract extension at Manchester United.

The 31-year-old winger produced a match-winning performance for United in the Lancashire derby at Old Trafford. Giggs has rejected a 12-month contract offer and is seeking an additional two years.

Once again United were indebted to the Welshman who produced another dazzling display scoring the opening goal and setting up their second to prevent Sir Alex Ferguson's side from losing even more ground in the title race.

United are now unbeaten in eight league matches. Cristiano Ronaldo and Gabriel Heinze returned to the starting line-up after mid-season breaks while John O'Shea came in for flu victim Gary Neville.

Paul Scholes, who was suffering from flu himself, stepped down to the substitute's bench while Quinton Fortune was ruled out through injury.

Bolton made five changes to the side beaten by Manchester City, but they failed to halt their recent slide which has seen them slip from fourth place to the bottom half of the table.

United broke the deadlock in the tenth minute when Heinze crossed from the left. The Bolton defence allowed the ball to bounce in the penalty area and Giggs found the net with a spectacular shot at the far post.

Had it not been for the brilliance of Bolton keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen who denied Ronaldo and Roy Keane, United would have added to their first-half goal tally.

Wayne Rooney was lucky not to be sent off shortly before half-time when he pushed his hand into the face of Bolton's Israeli defender Tal Ben-Haim in a fit of anger.

Whether the FA charge the volatile teenager with violent conduct after viewing television footage of the incident remains to be seen.

Scholes, Rooney and Giggs all forced Jaaskelainen into fine second-half saves as United remained in control.

But it was not until the final minute that Scholes sealed victory after being set up by Giggs. The midfielder lashed home a low drive from outside the penalty area to extinguish any hopes that Bolton had of snatching a point.