Man United 3 Tottenham 0
Wayne Rooney and Manchester United delivered a bruising knockout performance as Tottenham were blown away at Old Trafford.
Rooney put aside the controversy created by his kitchen sparring session with Phil Bardsley to put in a superb performance in the 3-0 victory.
The England captain, a buzzing nuisance to Spurs all afternoon, scored United’s third goal after Marouane Fellaini and Michael Carrick had done the early damage for Louis van Gaal’s men, who moved within one point of third-placed Arsenal after this huge morale-boosting victory.
This was by far the best performance of Van Gaal’s reign.
Finally, eight months after taking the helm, the Dutchman was able to deliver the kind of performance United’s often pessimistic supporters craved - one of pace, flair, width and destruction.
It was like old times at Old Trafford.
Juan Mata, starting his first league game since January 17, carved open a poorly organised Spurs defence with ease and Ashley Young gave the watching England manager Roy Hodgson food for thought with another impressive display on the left wing.
But Hodgson will be most pleased with Rooney’s display.
The emergence, on Sunday morning, of a video appearing to show the striker being knocked out by Stoke defender Bardsley in a February sparring session may have caused consternation in some quarters.
But the 29-year-old put the incident behind him, scoring his 14th goal of the season before celebrating with a cheeky flurry of punches in the corner.
United’s form had recently represented that of a washed-up forty-something slugger.
Nut now, thanks to this victory, they look every inch up for the scrap for Champions League qualification.