- United avoid third straight EPL defeat
- Arsenal break drought against Chelsea
- Liverpool rock Hull
- Manchester City maintain lead
Manchester United arrived for the early kickoff at Old Trafford determined to avoid a third consecutive league defeat, and came out guns blazing.
With Wayne Rooney dropped, captain for the day Chris Smalling blasted in a header in the 22nd minute to go one goal up. It was the precursor to a thoroughly dominant first half by United, who won 4-1.
"It's a nice honor the manager gives me, and I just try and play up -- armband or not -- but it's a nice touch," Smalling said on Sky Sports after the match.
The Red Devils withstood a couple of near misses -- one by Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the 27th minute on a spectacular turnaround miss, and another from Marcus Rashford on a clear breakaway -- before Juan Mata's 37th minute left-footed strike hit the mark from the edge of the penalty area.