Manchester United continued the club's perfect start to 2018 by progressing to the Emirates FA Cup fifth round with a comfortable 4-0 victory over Yeovil Town.
Goals from Marcus Rashford, Ander Herrera, Jesse Lingard and Romelu Lukaku saw Jose Mourinho celebrate both his birthday and 100th game at the club with a win, as the Reds recorded a fifth successive triumph without conceding a goal.
Prior to kick-off, Huish Park was united in a minute of applause in memory of former England defender Jimmy Armfield, who passed away this week. Once the game got under way, it was the hosts who were first to try a shot on goal, Jordan Green firing at Sergio Romero who saved his effort.
Reds debutant Alexis Sanchez played in Scott McTominay, who saw his shot low strike turned behind by Glovers keeper Arthur Krysiak. Alexis, who had been putting up with jeers from the home supporters every time he touched the ball, then had to weather a strong challenge from Nathan Smith. The defender received a booking for going through the back of the Chilean. From the resulting free-kick, Alexis eyed up the bottom right corner, although not with enough power to beat Krysiak.
Four minutes before half time, however, the deadlock was broken. The Yeovil defenders failed to clear the ball and allowed Rashford the opportunity to wriggle through and place a simple finish into the net, making him the fourth United player this season to have netted double figures (after Lukaku, Lingard and Martial). Sanchez had played the through ball to the young forward.
Jose’s side started the second period as strong, if not stronger, than they ended the first and Rashford was targeting his second of the evening, but failed to find the target with his shot which ended wide of the left-hand post.
Just after the hour mark, Alexis produced a neat assist, breaking to find Herrera, who expertly hammered home a low left-footed shot, doubling the Reds’ lead. Herrera’s 16th goal in a United shirt providing him with the perfect souvenir from his 150th appearance for the club at a ground where he scored in the past.
Moments later, the travelling supporters were celebrating again as Juan Mata turned in an effort from close range, however the Spaniard’s strike was ruled out for offside.
United continued to control the match as it neared its conclusion and as the clock ticked down there was still time for second-half substitutes Lingard and Lukaku to plunder more goals. Lingard smashed home in style after a penetrative run before Lukaku pounced in injury time from a Marcos Rojo cross, with impressive substitute Angel Gomes, who almost scored with his first involvement, featuring in the build-up.
As well as an effective attacking display, the Reds will no doubt be proud of keeping a sixth consecutive clean sheet in all competitions and can now look forward to Monday's draw for the fifth round of this prestigious-as-ever competition.
Yeovil Town: Krysiak; N.Smith, Bird (Browne 56), Wing (C. Smith 83), Gray, Dickson, Zoko (c), Surridge, Green (Fisher 69), Sowunmi, James.
Subs not used: Maddison, Whelan, Gobern, Santos.
Booked: Zoko, N.Smith, Sowunmi.
United: Romero; Darmian, Lindelof, Rojo, Shaw; Carrick, Herrera; Mata (Lukaku 64), McTominay, Alexis (Lingard 72); Rashford (Gomes 88).
Subs not used: Pereira, Smalling, Young, Matic.
WHAT'S NEXT FOR UNITED?
A third successive away fixture sees the Reds travel to Wembley on Wednesday night (31 January) to face fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League, kick off at 20:00 GMT.