Our classic match takes us back to October 2003 and Bolton’s visit to Eastlands. The blues had moved to their new stadium in August but had only recorded one win until Wanderers arrived and took a pounding.
After a good start to the season, City just couldn’t seem to perform at home and when Kevin Nolan opened the scoring after 25 minutes, it looked like being another drab day at Eastlands. But no-one quite realised what drama was to follow.
Bolton had started brightly and took the lead after Stelios Giannakopolous’ shot was blocked but Nolan was on hand to poke the ball home. The lead only lasted two minutes as Shaun Wright-Phillips chipped Jussi Jaaskelainen to level the scores.
SWP was booked for taking his shirt of to celebrate, much to the annoyance of blues supporters. Ivan Campo then missed a great chance to put Bolton 2-1 up and it looked like it was going to be a tight affair as half time approached with the scores deadlocked. How wrong could one be?
Half Time: City 1-1 Bolton
Within the first few minutes, the City were ahead. Sylvain Distin scoring in the 48th minute but eight minutes later brought the start of six minutes of madness.
First, SWP grabbed his second of the game to send City 3-1 up and two minutes later, Nicolas Anelka grabbed his first of the game before Campo scored little more than a consolation goal for Bolton on 60 minutes.
Two minutes later, SWP was sent off for a second bookable offence but Bolton couldn’t take advantage of the extra man. Anelka grabbed his second on 72 minutes before American Claudio Reyna completed the scoring on 84 minutes.
It was a thumping victory for the blues but it was to prove their last until February 2004.
Full Time: City 6-2 Bolton
Man City: Seaman, Jihai, Sommeil, Distin, Tarnat, Wright-Phillips, Barton (Dunne 75), Reyna, McManaman (Sibierski 57), Anelka, Fowler (Tiatto 68).
Subs Not Used: Stuhr-Ellegaard, Wanchope.
Bolton: Jaaskelainen, N’Gotty, Thome (Little 79), Charlton, Gardner, Nolan, Okocha, Campo, Frandsen (Jardel 54), Giannakopoulos, Davies.
Subs Not Used: Poole, Barness, Pedersen.