Manchester United put up a dominant performance to claim a 3-0 win at West Brom on Saturday.
Phil Jones scored the opening goal on his return for the Premier League champions. Wayne Rooney doubled their lead, heading from close range before Danny Welbeck sealed victory after a nice build-up play from the visitors.
David Moyes’ men were keen to avert a 2-1 defeat by the Baggies in the reverse fixture in September and keep a slim hope of finishing in the top four with Manchester City, who have two games in hand, now four points ahead of the Old Trafford club.
“It was more like it. We were more creative and played well. It’s never the easiest of places to come and we had lost to them earlier in the season so it was good to get a good result,” Moyes said after the match.
Jones broke the deadlock in the 34th minute, powering a header past Ben Foster from a Robin van Persie free-kick.
“We earned the right to be in front. When we did we sort of controlled chunks of the game. They were a threat and we were always going to have to defend,” added Moyes.
The hosts felt Van Persie should have been shown a second yellow for a challenge on Steven Reid, but referee Jonathan Moss thought otherwise.
West Brom boss Pepe Mel: “Manchester United is a big club and a strong team but today, for us, it is about luck as we had three players come off injured and (Robin) Van Persie not getting a second yellow is very important in the match.
“It is a yellow but the referee is the boss.”
While Albion failed to convert most of their chances, Rooney was quick to head home at the far post from a Rafael da Silva cross to put the game beyond coach Pepe Mel’s team.
Welbeck completed scoring when, after Marouane Fellaini and Rooney combined to set him up, he controlled expertly before slotting past the onrushing Foster.
Results from other matches
Crystal Palace 0-1 Southampton
Cardiff 3-1 Fulham
Norwich 1-1 Stoke