Carlos Tevez returned to Manchester City colours but Roberto Mancini's side showed they no longer need to rely on the Argentinian for goals with a fluent display in beating Bolton 3-2 to go top of the fledgling Barclays Premier League table.
By the time the wantaway Argentinian came on as a second-half substitute, City had netted three times through David Silva, with a shot Jussi Jaaskelainen should certainly have saved, Gareth Barry and Edin Dzeko.
The only negative for Mancini was that City allowed Bolton to stay in the game, Ivan Klasnic reducing the deficit just after Barry's superb strike and Kevin Davies netting the final goal of the game in the 62nd minute.
With 25 minutes gone, City took the lead, although only Jaaskelainen will know how Silva's dipping effort from 20 yards evaded his clutches.
City thought they had scored a second five minutes later when Micah Richards crossed for Sergio Aguero to tuck away only for referee Mike Jones to penalise the full-back for a nudge on Martin Petrov.
Bolton were struggling to cope and they were two down with eight minutes to go in the first half through a goal of real quality from Barry, who gave Jaaskelainen no chance with a drive into the top corner from 25 yards.
However, Bolton grabbed an unlikely foothold in the game less then two minutes later when a cross from former City winger Petrov was tucked away neatly by Klasnic.
What Bolton needed was a good start to the second half but they got exactly the opposite as Dzeko seized on a flick from James Milner before holding off Zat Knight and drilling a shot past Jaaskelainen less than two minutes after the resumption.
However, just when it was beginning to look like a case of how many City would score, Bolton found the net again courtesy of a trademark Davies header from Petrov's free-kick in the 62nd minute.
The one player who was not really impressing for City was Aguero and with 22 minutes to go he was replaced by Tevez, who received a rapturous reception from the visiting fans despite his wish to leave the club.