Manchester United's Reserves put on a display worthy of champions with an emphatic 4-1 success at Chelsea.
Warren Joyce's side had the match effectively won inside the opening 45 minutes with Ryan Tunnicliffe becoming the 17th different scorer for the Reds at this level this term, excluding own goals, and Will Keane on the scoresheet for the 17th time in a productive campaign.
Tunnicliffe got the ball rolling with a 10th minute opener, striding onto an Ezekiel Fryers cut-back and planting a left-footed finish past James Russell from the edge of the area. It was largely one-way traffic, although Romelu Lukaku lashed one ambitious attempt off target for the hosts.
Aziz Deen-Conteh needed to make a goalline clearance, Tom Thorpe's volley was held by Russell and Will Keane flashed a drive over the top as the Reds dominated. Larnell Cole added a deserved second goal by slipping the ball under Russell from a crafty through pass by Jesse Lingard and the match was as good as over before the break when Will Keane showed great skill to lift the ball over Russell and beat Nathan Ake on the line after his twin brother Michael's long ball came off Todd Kane's head.
The relentless Reds went further ahead five minutes into the second half when Ritchie De Laet proved he's getting a thirst for joining the attack, embarking on a solo run through the home defence before nudging into the net for his second goal at Reserves level this season.
Davide Petrucci also went through on his own, but was denied by a Russell save, while Chelsea went close to pulling one back as Thorpe made an outstanding headed clearance to frustrate Lucas Piazon when a goal seemed certain. An assistant referee's flag chalked off a Michele Fornasier effort, unfortunately so as it was a sublime move containing a Petrucci backheel, and United went close to a fifth again when Will Keane's powerful header smacked against the woodwork after more fine play by Petrucci.
Chelsea pulled a goal back through Patrick Bamford's low drive that skidded past Sam Johnstone and