Jose Mourinho answered his critics — for the time being at least — as his Manchester United side recorded their biggest league victory in 13 months with a 4-1 win over Fulham.
Ashley Young, with his first goal in over 12 months, Juan Mata and Romelu Lukaku shot United into a commanding first-half lead.
But they struggled to add to that advantage after the break, even after Fulham were reduced to 10 men following the dismissal of Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, moments after Aboubakar Kamara had pulled a goal back from the penalty spot.
Eventually, United were able to do so, completing the rout in the 82nd minute when Marcus Rashford beat Fulham keeper Sergio Rico at his near post with a curling shot from the edge of the area.
Young struck early, receiving a short pass from Rashford and beating Denis Odoi far too easily as he cut into the Fulham area.
There was still much for Young to do to beat Rico but the former England international lofted a superbly weighted finish into the top corner to give the visiting keeper no chance.
The second goal, just before the half-hour, was far more routine although no less impressive given the speed with which United launched a devastating counter-attack.
Lukaku slipped the ball down the left wing for Rashford and the England forward picked out Mata, arriving speedily into the Fulham area, with a perfect pass which his Spanish team-mate steered left-footed into the corner.
There was time for United to add a third in the 42nd minute, from a clever corner routine that saw Mata and Jesse Lingard exchange passes before the former crossed into an empty six-yard area where Lukaku gratefully converted the easiest of chances.
Ander Herrera also missed a glorious chance, shooting wide from Mata’s pass, before Fulham pulled a goal back in the 67th minute.
United claimed Kamara had fouled Phil Jones as he collected a pass but referee Lee Probert judged Herrera had tripped the Fulham substitute, who took and scored the resulting penalty himself.
Hopes of a Fulham fightback were short-lived, however, with Zambo Anguissa collecting a second yellow card, for fouling Rashford, within a minute and reducing his team to 10 men.
With that extra-man advantage, Lukaku, Rashford and Scott McTominay all wasted glorious chances for more goals.
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