Manchester United 3 Tottenham 0 (Half-time 3-0)

Louis van Gaal was delighted with the display of his Manchester United side yesterday, as they effortlessly brushed aside a desperately poor Spurs at Old Trafford. The damage was done before the break, as the Reds swept forward in a manner reminiscent of days gone by, bagging themselves an impregnable three goal advantage and settling the result long before the end. There was even an opportunity for Wayne Rooney to demonstrate one of the strangest goal celebrations ever performed, imitating a recently leaked home video that appeared to show him being knocked out in his own kitchen by Phil Bardsley.

For United it was a key win, ensuring that they remain firmly in the battle for at least second place in the league and also to shake off the cobwebs from their FA Cup defeat to Arsenal earlier in the week.

After a promising early spell of pressure by the visitors was absorbed by United, they clicked into top gear and went ahead as early as the 9th minute, when the calm head of Michael Carrick spotted Marouane Fellaini in space down the inside-left channel and the Belgian coolly slotted home. He is certainly an improving acquisition for the Red Devils and perhaps beginning to justify previous manager David Moyes' faith in bringing him into the club. He was a constant threat to the London side in the first period and caused them problems in the air from a corner on 19 minutes, allowing Carrick to score with a well-placed header of his own.

Juan Mata was also outstanding on the day and received a standing ovation when subbed later on.

Such was Spurs apparent disarray that manager Mauricio Pochettino had seen enough after just 30 minutes, hooking Andros Townsend and replacing him with Mousa Dembele in an effort to stem the flow. It didn't work immediately, as United were soon three goals to the good.

Rooney seized on an error by Nabil Bentaleb, bore down on the Spurs' back line, shimmied past a couple of half-hearted challenges and fired home. Cue his eccentric celebrations, in a semi-mocking manner that showed that he had seen something of the funny side in the latest video release, mimicking a boxing move before falling backwards to the 'canvas'.

Spurs were slightly better after the break, although that could have been as much to do with United knowing that the points were already secure. Perhaps their best chance fell to the much vaunted Harry Kane right at the end, but his shot from a tight angle was smothered by the under-extended David de Gea.

The result, combined with those elsewhere over the weekend, makes for interesting viewing at the top of the table. Chelsea's draw keeps them well placed for the title, with a handy six point lead over Manchester City in second. City's advantage over the rest has been dramatically cut though, following their surprise defeat against Burnley. That has allowed Arsenal and United to close in on them, with second to fourth places now separated by just two points. Liverpool could join in on the 'fun' at the top if they can beat Swansea away tonight, but are currently 5 points adrift of United in fifth.