Paul Scholes marked his 700th Reds appearance with the opening goal, before players from the opposite end of the experience scale ratcheted up the scoreline. Having had his early spot-kick saved, Chicharito turned in Alex Büttner's shot, then the Dutchman marked his home debut with an impressive solo goal and fellow new boy Nick Powell rifled in the Reds' fourth goal from distance.
Sir Alex Ferguson had implored his side to go for goals during the course of this season, rather than closing out games and conserving energy, and the manager would have been delighted to see the Reds steadily turning the screw even as time ebbed away.
With all bar Phil Jones, Wayne Rooney and Chris Smalling available, Sir Alex had several selection dilemmas to ponder, the end result being five changes from the side which won at Southampton earlier this month. Scholes and Rio Ferdinand moved onto 700 and 400 United appearances respectively while Ryan Giggs made his 600th Premier League outing. Büttner made his maiden appearance at left-back, while fellow summer signings Powell, Robin van Persie and Shinji Kagawa were on the bench.
Despite the raft of changes, United should have moved ahead inside the first five minutes. Danny Welbeck latched onto a searching through-ball from Giggs and reached the ball ahead of the onrushing Ali Al Habsi before tumbling to the ground. Though there was minimal contact and Welbeck made no appeal, referee Michael Oliver pointed to the spot, to the visible and understandable enragement of the visitors. Their ire was soothed, however, when Al Habsi plunged to his left to comfortably palm away Chicharito’s effort from