Home » EPL, Latest » Match Report: Bolton 0 Man United 5

Forget the barbs and the posters, this was another thrilling footnote in what looks set to be the most exciting inter-city rivalry since Liverpool and Everton regularly went head to head for the league title a quarter of a century ago.

With Wayne Rooney scoring a second successive hat-trick for the champions, United responded to City moving to the top of the table with a 3-0 home win over Athletic, with a similarly crushing victory at the Reebok Stadium.

With the two clubs now having managed 33 goals between them, as well as maximum points from their four matches, it appears that the only problem neutrals will encounter is keeping count of the goals.

United’s 2-1 win at West Brom on the opening weekend is already looking like the equivalent of a goalless draw.

Phil Jones was once again outstanding, while Rooney, who scored three in the 8-2 win over Arsenal, took his tally to 10 goals in six games for club and country and Javier Hernández also scored twice on his first start of the season following a pre-season concussion.

Described as a “difficult customer” in the build-up by Sir Alex Ferguson, Kevin Davies had promised to give Jones a “going over” and the Bolton captain’s firm tackle on Tom Cleverley after four minutes resulted in the midfielder limping off with what appeared to be an ankle injury.

By the time it had been decided that he was not fit to continue, United had already taken the lead, with Hernández getting in front of Zat Knight to stab in Nani’s driven cross.

Davies had gone in the book – his 100th yellow card in the Premier League – for a challenge on Patrice Evra but Bolton enjoyed a reasonable spell with Jonny Evans throwing himself in front of Ivan Klasnic’s shot before Wayne Rooney hacked away a Chris Eagles effort.

Klasnic also turned the recalled Rio Ferdinand, featuring for the first time since suffering a hamstring problem on the opening day, and had a powerful 25-yard effort turned away by David De Gea.

Concerns had been raised about De Gea’s ability to deal with direct balls into the area but by the time he had to deal with a decent ball into the box, United were three goals up.

Far from being given a ‘going over’, Jones was thriving at right back and his wonderful cross pierced the Bolton defence once again, allowing Rooney an easy tap-in at the near post.

Five minutes later, he collected the ball just inside the Bolton half, sped away from Nigel Reo-Coker after swapping passes with Nani and checked inside Knight before having a low effort blocked by Jussi Jaaskelainen before Rooney touched in from close range.

De Gea finally passed that test, crashing through a crowd of bodies to punch away a corner from Petrov and the young Spaniard also did well to hold Klasnic’s 25-yard effort just after the interval, as well as having to grab a dangerous back-header from Ferdinand.

But just before the hour, United made it four when Michael Carrick’s effort was blocked only as far as Hernández, who swept the ball in, before Rooney found the corner with a driven effort midway through the second half.

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