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.
Fresh from the eight-goal salute to Arsenal, another attacking frenzy was underway. Hernandez appeared to have turned in United’s fourth just two minutes later, but his neat finish applied to a Nani cross was correctly rendered illegal by an assistant’s flag.
The game lulled for the final third of the half, as rampant visitors and shell-shocked hosts drew breath. Kevin Davies swiped air rather than ball after a decent Martin Petrov cross and Nani fired into the side-netting from close-range, but the interval came with United exuding comfort.
Were any reminder required that Bolton can never be taken lightly, especially at home, it was served by Klasnic within two minutes of the restart. Fortunately, De Gea had the smart reflexes and handling to field the