It’s been a long time coming, but Manchester United now look like something approximating to a football team.
A brilliant hat-trick from Anthony Martial crowned an attacking performance that play was far too much for Sheffield United, whose poor run continues – they now look out of the Champions League reckoning, while United closed the gap on Chelsea in fourth.
The Blades actually started well, but once United got going, the first goal was not long in coming, Marcus Rashford smashing across the face of goal for Anthony Martial to slide home impeccably.
And just before half-time, Martial scored again, turning home from close range after an excellent drive and cross from Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Much of the second half was played at walking pace, United dominating possession as Chris Wilder’s team sat back.
But every now and again United increased the pace, and on 74 minutes a lovely exchange between Bruno Fernandes, Martial and Rashford led to Martial scoring again.
Very little happened thereafter – though United may have set a record as the first Premier League team to deploy five subs in one go – but it was already clear that these sides are going in opposite directions.