United had actually taken the lead without a full compliment of players. At the time of the goal, Cleverley was receiving treatment for an ankle injury after a poor challenge from Davies. Bolton had their best opening of the half while Cleverley was en route to the dressing room, but Rooney was on hand to hack Chris Eagles’ volley off the line after a goalmouth scramble. Michael Carrick was duly introduced to restore equality in personnel.
Bolton skipper Davies was booked for a lunging challenge on Evra and Ivan Klasnic brought a spectacular save from De Gea with a stinging effort from the edge of the box, but the hosts’ defiance was soon doused by a devastating spell of attacking from United.
Jones took a quick throw-in and, upon receiving the ball straight back from Chicharito, arced an unplayable cross into the heart of the Bolton area, where the onrushing Rooney needed only brush the ball with the studs of his right boot to double United’s lead.
Jones was the epicentre of the Reds’ celebratory huddle, and the makeshift right-back was again the hub of joy five minutes later. Having swapped passes with Nani, the marauding youngster strode through the Bolton midfield and defence and, although his shot was saved by Jaaskelainen, Rooney carefully tucked the rebound between the desperate lunges of Cahill and Dedryck Boyata to heap further misery on the hosts.