Paul Scholes netted on his Old Trafford return to help Manchester United on the way to a convincing 3-0 win over struggling Bolton Wanderers.
Out of retirement to assist in the Reds’ title push, Scholes broke the deadlock in first-half injury time to cap a memorable homecoming.
In truth, Scholes wasn’t always at his sparkling best during his 69-minute display, uncharacteristically misplacing a handful of early passes and (characteristically, some would say) mistiming the odd tackle. But the way he calmly swept home Rooney’s cross from six yards showed the 37-year-old has lost none of his ability to find the net.
In some ways it was inevitable. And not merely because of the romance surrounding his popular return. No, it’s the sort of thing – finding a way through a hitherto impregnable defence – that the Reds’ chief lock-picker of the last 15 years has done countless times before.
Danny Welbeck and Michael Carrick added further gloss to the scoreline in the second half, in a game in which Reds goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard was never tested. At the final whistle, Sir Alex's men had drawn level on points with Manchester City at the top of the Barclays Premier League.
The boss made three changes to the side that beat City in last weekend's FA Cup clash, with Jonny Evans and Rafael replacing Chris Smalling and Phil Jones at the back.
Lindegaard retained the goalkeeper's jersey for a third successive outing, while comeback kid Scholes, sensationally out of retirement last weekend to boost United's title bid, started his first competitive match since May 2011 at the expense of fellow midfield veteran Ryan Giggs.