Wayne Rooney played the flag-kick to the far post and Carrick's intelligent sidefoot volley back into the danger zone was met by Evans, who swivelled to thump home his first goal for the club on his 119th appearance. Things went from bad to worse for Terry Connor's strugglers when Zubar inexplicably launched into wild tackles on Rooney and Welbeck within 11 first-half minutes. Welbeck received treatment as referee Anthony Taylor produced the inevitable second yellow card.
Scenting blood, United responded to the 10 men gamely winning a corner by breaking down the other end to double the lead. Welbeck's header out was moved on by Hernandez to Rooney, who produced by far his best pass of the half to release Valencia down the right. The fit-again Ecuadorian had plenty to do but utilised his pace to stunning effect and arrowed a brilliant finish just inside the far post.
Evans displayed his confidence with a raking pass to bring Valencia into the game again and an accurate cross, as is usually the case from the ex-Wigan man, allowed Welbeck to sweep an instant finish past the wrong-footed Hennessey to make it 3-0 before the interval.
The second half was always likely to be a case of damage limitation for the hosts with Hennessey doing well to push away a decent attempt by Rooney that skipped off the turf. However, the Welsh keeper had no chance when a short corner led to Valencia inviting Rafael to centre and Hernandez guided home with the simplest of headers.
Hernandez clearly had the taste for goals again as he buried number five soon afterwards, following a superb move involving Valencia and Welbeck with the England international's flick in the one-two a flash of real genius. The Reds' football, against demoralised opponents, was mesmerising