In a match which was billed as a fight for Champions League places, Manchester United convincingly outplayed Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 with first-half goals from Marouane Fellaini, Michael Carrick and Wayne Rooney.
Tottenham would have harboured hopes of drawing level on points with their fourth-placed opponents before the match, but a relentless United rampaged to a 12th home victory of the season – the best home record in the Premier League.
Tottenham’s defensive lapses were laid bare in the 9th minute when Carrick strode into midfield unchallenged to play a measured through ball that Fellaini steered across Hugo Lloris.
Carrick’s header looped into the net after a Juan Mata corner was unsuccessfully cleared by the Spurs defence in the 19th minute.
In the 31st minute, Rooney stole the ball from Nabil Bentaleb near the halway line, and dragged a hapless defence along with him on a run that finished with a goal.
England manager Roy Hodgson was in attendance, but the veterans Rooney and Carrick far outshone the prodigous Harry Kane on the night.
The away side never looked like recovering from the 3-goal deficit, and the closest they got to troubling the scoreboard was when David de Gea was called upon to keep out Kane’s effort in the 89th minute.