Robin van Persie's 31-minute hat-trick - including a staggering volley - had the outcome beyond doubt by the interval, and a relatively low-key second period passed without major incident as United ascended the throne in comfortable fashion.
After Manchester City's defeat at Tottenham on Sunday afternoon, the Reds knew that victory would wrench the Premier League trophy back with four games to spare, and Sir Alex Ferguson sent out a side so eager to do so, that it took them just 81 seconds to forge ahead.
After Wayne Rooney's sublime crossfield ball had released Antonio Valencia, the Ecuadorian teed up Rafael, whose deep, first-time cross was beautifully cushioned across goal by Ryan Giggs for van Persie to gleefully sidefoot home.
Old Trafford shook with joy, and the first renditions of 'campeones' were ringing around the brimming stadium when van Persie passed up the chance to double his tally, volleying just over from Valencia's deflected cross in the third minute.
As a rampant United start continued to promise goals, the Dutchman unselfishly headed down for Shinji Kagawa after more sterling work from Giggs, only for the Japanese schemer's close-range effort to be blocked by Ron Vlaar. Villa were quickly indebted to the woodwork as Rafael's swerving effort thudded away off Guzan's right-hand post, but Christian Benteke fired wastefully off-target almost immediately to remind the hosts of their defensive