7 things Man Utd got right against Spurs
Manchester United re-asserted their claim on a Champions League spot with a dominant 3-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur on Monday morning (Singapore time) at Old Trafford.
While goals from Marouane Fellaini, Michael Carrick and Wayne Rooney settled the contest, the manner with which the Red Devils went about their business was what had their fans purring.
Aided by their visitors' pedestrian performance, Louis van Gaal's men displayed a verve and panache that have been rarely-seen this season.
Here are seven factors that contributed to what was United's best display under van Gaal to date.
1) Excellent and adventurous passing
With Louis van Gaal favouring possession-based tactics, United have at times this season looked more concerned about keeping their pass completion rates up rather than looking for the killer pass that would actually hurt their opponents.
The club's reliance on long balls up to Fellaini once their backs were up against the wall has also been well-documented.
However, against Spurs, United's passing game was crisp, incisive and impudent as they carved swathes out of their opponents at will.
Whether it was Ashley Young, Ander Herrera or Phil Jones on the ball, the Red Devils kept their passes short, sharp and very, very sweet.
Just ask Fellaini about the peach of a through ball from Carrick for the opener.
While it looked as if the jitters would get the better of United again when Jones made David de Gea spring into action after just three minutes with an overcooked back-pass, the home side quickly composed themselves and strung together an imperious performance.
Buoyed by their successful play and three goals in the first 45 minutes, United's confidence levels were so high that they were comfortable with ceding possession to Spurs in the second half.
Even their much-maligned defenders like Jones and Chris Smalling found the adventure in them to join in on the odd raid or two.
It certainly spoke volumes that Spurs' first - and only - shot on target came after 89 minutes when Harry Kane somehow sneaked in to force a save out of de Gea, who stopped the shot with his thighs. Ballsy.
3) Marouane Fellaini - LVG's other success story
Up to now, Young has been the shining example of what van Gaal has done right during his bumpy reign at United.
With his Man of the Match award against Spurs, Fellaini can also be counted among the Dutchman's success stories as well.
After struggling to come to grips with his inflated transfer from Everton during the David Moyes era, the Belgian has adapted to life at Old Trafford and now looks at ease with his surroundings.
Opening the scoring with a clinical finish playing as United's No. 10, Fellaini also made his sizeable presence felt in the midfield battle, holding up the ball with poise while intercepting numerous Spurs passes along the way.
Perhaps Fellaini - and maybe even Moyes - deserves a bit of an apology...
4) Establishing midfield dominance
"You shall not pass!" said Ander Herrera to the Spurs midfield.
You know you're in trouble if a player as influential as Christian Eriksen requires a full 25 minutes to be mentioned by the commentators.
You know the situation is even worse when that mention comes will the playmaker is hemmed up in his own penalty area.
United's control over the centre of the pitch was so absolute that they simply snuffed out any threat before it could take place, allowing the likes of Young, Fellaini, Herrera and Juan Mata to attack with impunity.
While Mauricio Pochettino sent on Mousa Dembele in a bid to stem the Red Devils' tide after just 31 minutes, the big Belgian might as well have been an ant trying to stop a tsunami.
5) Rooney's rampant response
Rooney might continue to split opinion among Manchester United fans.
But after finding himself the subject of a controversial boxing clip, the United captain responded to the sensationalism with a sensational goal.
It did help that Spurs' defenders had forgotten how to tackle, but when the moment came, Rooney seized his chance and took it well.
And oh, that celebration...
6) Pinpointing Spurs' weak link
Eric Dier might be having a run in the Spurs side of the late, but it is important to note that the centre-back is just 21.
At Old Trafford, his inexperience clearly showed in all three of United's goals.
He lost out to Fellaini for the opener, allowed the afro-sporting Belgian to bully him in the build-up to the second and then did his best impression of a bystander as Rooney ran through on goal to add the third.
Van Gaal certainly deserves some credit if he spotted Dier as Spurs' weak link and instructed his men attack him.
7) Michael Carrick's return to action
It might have been a risk to throw him straight into the fire after a spell on the sidelines, but van Gaal was definitely vindicated for his decision to start Carrick against his former club.
Looking as if he had never missed a minute of action, the classy midfielder was the heartbeat of United's midfield, making probing passes and nipping opposition attacks in the bud.
Carrick's two major contributions to the game pretty much summed him up as a player - a finely-measured pass for Fellaini's opener before calmly guiding his looping header into the bottom corner of the net.