Wayne Rooney consigned his 10-match goalscoring misery to the dustbin with a sensational hat-trick which propelled Manchester United to a 4-0 victory at Bolton and back to the Premiership summit.
Having marked his United debut with a three-timer against Fenerbahce two years ago, Rooney has waited quite a while to wander off with another match ball.
In fact, given his recent difficulties finding the net, the £27million hit-man would probably have been grateful for anything at the Reebok Stadium.
As it was, just 24 hours after Sir Alex Ferguson predicted an imminent return to form, Rooney rasped home a magnificent treble as United ousted Chelsea from top spot with a scintillating display, consigning Bolton to their biggest home defeat since the Red Devils' similarly enjoyable visit to the Reebok Stadium in 2002.
Rooney had not scored since his double against Fulham on the opening day, which was the last time United put together such a breathtaking display of attacking intent.
With Cristiano Ronaldo fully recovered from the virus that kept him out of last week's win over Liverpool, Ferguson was able to name a full-strength side, a luxury Kevin Nolan's suspension meant Sam Allardyce was not able to enjoy.
Neither could the Bolton boss have been too enamoured with what took place in the opening 20 minutes.
Having constructed one of the most effective units in the Premiership around a firm defence and disciplined marking, Allardyce must have been aghast at the blur of red shirts which sped around the field unchallenged.
Maybe, when he gets home and has a chance to review the onslaught in a more relaxed setting, even Allardyce will be able to appreciate how wondrous United were during that opening spell.
The only relief for Bolton came from the knowledge they had only conceded twice because, in truth, it should have been double that number and possibly even more still.
With Ronaldo and Ryan Giggs darting back and forward off their wings as though they were tied to a piece of elastic, Louis Saha dropping deep and turning quickly, Patrice Evra and Gary Neville providing the overlaps and both Paul Scholes and Michael Carrick picking out team-mates with ease from their central midfield station, it was little wonder Bolton found it difficult to cope. Throw in Rooney on top form and the task is impossible.
Much has been made of Rooney's 10-game goalless streak. But even as recently as Friday, Ferguson was claiming it would not be long before the England star broke his barren run. It took him precisely 10 minutes.
Rooney had already come agonisingly close to turning home Giggs' low cross, when he was picked out brilliantly by Carrick, who lofted a first-time pass over the Bolton defence.
If there was any anxiety lurking deep within the young striker, who only blew out the candles on his 21st birthday cake on Tuesday, he did not show them, letting the ball bounce twice before letting fly with a first-time, left-footed volley which gave Jussi Jaaskelainen no chance.
The Finn was equally helpless with Rooney's second five minutes later, which was true eye-of-the-needle stuff.
Tal Ben Haim provided the accidental assist when he slid in to rob Neville. Unfortunately for the Israel defender, he merely toed the ball to Rooney, who found the only gap available to curl a shot wide of the nearest defender but inside Jaaskelainen's left-hand post.
Rarely in Allardyce's seven-year tenure at Bolton can he have seen his team so badly outplayed on home soil.
It was hardly a surprise some of the fire went out of United's play after such an explosive start, yet Saha and Giggs, twice, nearly increased their lead, Jaaskelainen denying the Welshman on the latter occasion after Abdoulaye Faye set him up for a volley when he was attempting to cut out a cross.
The second period was a much more even affair. In fact, Bolton had the edge and if Edwin van der Sar not superbly turned away Ivan Campo's instinctive strike 15 minutes from time, the Trotters might have launched a miracle comeback bid.
As it was, with Vidic superb, United's defence stood firm and the fight seemed to have ebbed out of the Trotters long before Saha presented Ronaldo with a tap-in.
Bolton were on their knees begging for mercy by the end. But none was forthcoming as Darren Fletcher seized on Abdoulaye Meite's mistake and set up Rooney for his glorious third.