Danny Welbeck hit his first Reserves hat-trick, while Mikael Silvestre and Gary Neville completed 76 and 90 minutes respectively in a thoroughly satisfying victory over Manchester City at the Marston's Arena.
Danny Simpson also scored as the the Reds overcame a spirited City side, teeming rain and blustery winds to roar back from a goal down and take victory.
Both Silvestre and Neville emerged seemingly unscathed from a strenuous workout in far from desirable conditions, and will hope to return to Sir Alex Ferguson's first team set-up in the near future.
City took the lead inside two minutes as towering central defender Clayton McDonald rose to powerfully head home a left-wing corner, but the conditions made the early exchanges difficult for both sides.
Despite such a heavy hindrance, the football on show was of a high standard for much of the match. United pressed gamely for a route back into the game, and Welbeck came close 10 minutes before the break when his close-range effort was well saved by City's Neil Martin.
Welbeck was far less charitable in front of goal eight minutes later. Released by a fine through-ball from Chris Eagles, the England youth striker slotted clinically into the far corner to level the scores.
Just two minutes of the second half had passed when United moved ahead, as Tom Cleverley's corner found its way to Simpson, who swept home from close range.
Chances started coming thick and fast, but it was Welbeck who had the telling strike just before the hour mark - although his 20 yard strike took a sizeable deflection off McDonald en route to goal.
The City defender's evening tailed off further when he was harshly adjudged to have fouled Welbeck inside the area after 75 minutes. The striker dusted himself down and coolly slotted the penalty into the corner to claim his second treble of the season, following a four-goal haul in the U18s' win over West Brom back in October.
Having completed his first competitive outing since last September, Silvestre replaced by Richard Eckersley immediately