Rooney netted twice (including one from the spot after former Villa favourite Ashley Young had controversially won a penalty), while Danny Welbeck and Nani also got on the scoresheet.
Did you know? Wayne Rooney has scored more goals for United against Aston Villa (11) than against any other opposition.
Opposition boss: Paul Lambert was in charge at Norwich last year and twice made the Reds work extremely hard for narrow victories. At Villa Park he's endured a tough start, but in his defence he inherited a lot of problems from former regimes. The general consensus among Villa fans is that things will certainly get better if he's given enough time. In fact, one told ManUtd.com: "This is the most optimistic we've been since Martin O'Neill took charge."
Star man: Young Belgian forward Christian Benteke is Villa's top scorer this season (four goals) and has the physique to bully defences. On his day he's a real handful and the Reds will need to mark him tightly at set-pieces. It's imperative United don't give him the sort of space Marouane Fellaini was afforded at Goodison Park earlier this season.
Quote/unquote: Wayne Rooney, speaking after United's win in Braga: "We know we can play better football. Now we have a run of games where we feel we can get maximum points, so hopefully we can do that."
Sub-plots: Winger Ashley Young did himself no favours in Villa fans' eyes by winning a debatable penalty in the last fixture between the two sides.