Victory over Everton - courtesy of goals from Ryan Giggs and Robin van Persie - stretched Manchester United's lead at the top of the Barclays Premier League to 12 points.
With just 12 games to play, Sir Alex Ferguson’s men are now undoubtedly well placed to go on and clinch a 20th league title, although the events of last season – when United blew an eight-point lead with just six games remaining – means nobody at Old Trafford is getting too carried away just yet.
On Sunday, however, United looked for long periods like the sort of side that has what it takes to win silverware. Fluid in attack, solid in defence and willing to mix it in midfield against a combative Everton outfit, the Reds’ performance arguably contained everything Manchester City’s display against Southampton 24 hours earlier lacked.
United certainly began positively, passing well and committing to full-blooded challenges in the middle of the park. And when Wayne Rooney slipped a pass between two defenders and van Persie rounded Tim Howard in the Everton goal, it looked certain the home side would take the lead on 10 minutes. The Dutchman, usually so accurate in front of goal, smacked his right-footed shot against the upright, however, and the visitors breathed a sigh of relief.
Three minutes later, van Persie atoned for his miss, latching onto Antonio Valencia’s header and skipping past his marker before