to flick Anderson's wicked free-kick wide of the post, but relied on his defenders to dig him out of a hole after Hernandez had stolen possession outside the area. The Mexican didn't have to wait long, however, to double his tally, sliding home from close range after Michael Carrick's shot had rolled through a thicket of bodies.
Bolton's response to the fourth goal was positive, as Nigel Reo-Coker crashed a shot against De Gea's crossbar, before both sides rang the changes. Kevin Davies made way for David N'gog and Darren Pratley replaced ex-Red Chris Eagles for the hosts, while Sir Alex introduced Ryan Giggs and Smalling at the expense of Ashley Young and the limping Evans.
The amendments did little to stifle the flow of the game, as United popped passes around with abandon. Nor did it stem the tide of goals, as Rooney smashed home his second successive hat-trick. A raking ball from Giggs found Nani, who rolled the ball across the edge of the area for Rooney to curl an unstoppable shot into Jaaskelainen's bottom right-hand corner.
Hat-trick secured, Rooney soon attempted to serve up another treble for Chicharito, but his centre was narrowly behind the Mexican striker. Late on, Chicharito was played in by Nani, but unselfishly attempted to square for the excellent Anderson, who couldn't quite convert into the gaping goal.
No matter, five more than sufficed to prolong the early-season excitement surrounding this United team. There's enough experience in the Reds' ranks to avoid getting giddy just over a week into September, but the verve and swagger about this bunch of twinkling talents renders caution harder by the week.