Wanderers came unstuck at Eastlands as goals in each half from the strike pairing of Carlos Tevez and Emmanuel Adebayor sealed a 2-0 win for Manchester City.
Tevez put the hosts into the lead when he converted from the spot on 30 minutes after Paul Robinson had been adjudged to have tripped Adam Johnson.
And in the second-half, Adebayor fired home from ten yards after latching on to Patrick Vieira dinked pass from midfield.
But the defeat wasn't without its positives as again Wanderers dominated proceedings for long periods with debutant Jack Wilshere showing the class to suggest that he will be a success in his five-month stay at the Reebok.
Wanderers lined-up with three changes as Gretar Steinsson and Johan Elmander returned to the team. Jack Wilshere was handed his full debut, as was Adam Johnson for Manchester City.
It was the £7m man who carved out the first two chances of the game with crosses from the left wing. Wanderers did well to defend the first while Carlos Tevez scuffed his finish from the edge of the area for the second.
Pablo Zabaleta provided another dangerous low cross from the opposite touchline and Adebayor acrobatically volleyed wide as City enjoyed plenty of plenty of possession in the opening minutes.
But Bolton too looked lively as Chung-Yong Lee, typically, used his anticipation and skill to come within a whisker of latching on to a searching slide-rule ball from Elmander.
And the Sweden international striker himself came fractionally wide from opening the scoring on 17 minutes, shooting just wide with his left foot from 25 yards after seizing on a Kevin Davies knock-down.
Indeed, as the first half grew, so did Bolton's confidence. The catalyst was Jack Wilshere, who was at the heart of every attack with his vision, none more so than when the Arsenal loanee orchestrated a move down the left involving half a dozen Wanderers players and culminated in Shay Given clearing for the hosts.
But against the run of play, Manchester City were awarded a penalty and subsequently took the lead on the half hour mark.
Paul Robinson was adjudged to have tripped Adam Johnson inside the box before Tevez stepped up to convert from 12 yards. For a split second it looked like Jaaskelainen had saved the Argentine's effort, but his powerful strike ricocheted off the goalkeeper's body and just squirmed over the line.
Despite the setback, Wanderers still continued to be an attacking threat as Elmander had a penalty appeal turned down and successive efforts from Muamba caused concern for the City defence.
Both shots from the England U21 international were from a similar distance, just yards outside the penalty box. While the second flew harmlessly wide, Shay Given originally needed to produce a superb reflex save to thrust away a deflected drive that skidded off Kompany.
On the stroke of half-time, Cohen hit a free-kick against a wall as Owen Coyle's side somehow found themselves a goal behind at the interval.
The start of the second half saw Tevez strike the crossbar with a free-kick and Johnson deliver teasing cross which Jaaskelainen did well to finger-tip around the post.
Elmander was working hard for the Bolton cause and his effort was almost rewarded with a third Premier League goal of the season when he successfully charged down a Given clearance, only to see the ball rebound into the side-netting.
The number nine saw another attempt dragged fractionally wide and Cohen's back-flick inside a crowded penalty was also just off-target as the pattern of the half was not too dissimilar to that of the first with Bolton seeing plenty of the ball.
But the Whites couldn't convert the pressure into a goal and they were hit by another sucker punch as Adebayor doubled City's lead on 73 minutes.
The Togo striker had endured a relatively game but latched onto Vieira's lofted pass excellently; controlling on his chest before pivoting and smashing the ball past Jaaskelainen, who had no chance. Wanderers defence claimed an offside, but replays suggested that Adebayor had just about timed his run to perfection.
Owen Coyle responded by drafting on both Mark Davies and Matt Taylor for Cohen and Wilshere, who had impressed on debut.
But there was little the pair could do to influence the result as the closest Bolton came to getting on the scoresheet in the remainder of the contest was when Elmander prodded against the outside of the post from close-range and Knight headed over when unmarked.
Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Knight, Ricketts, Robinson, Chung-Yong, Muamba, Cohen (Mark Davies 74), Wilshere (Taylor 78), Elmander, Kevin Davies (Subs: Al Habsi, Samuel, Gardner, O'Brien, Basham)
Manchester City: Given, Bridge (Wright-Phillips 68), Zabaleta Johnson (Sylvinho 84), Barry, Vieira, Adebayor, Toure (Lescott 55), Tevez, Kompany, de Jong (Subs: Onuoha, Ireland, Taylor, Petrov)