United kept up the pressure on the Premier League's chasing pack with an impressive victory over Mark Hughes Stoke side at Old Trafford in our best home performance of the season.
On a night when the club paid tribute to upcoming 58th anniversary of Munich, this was a display befitting of the Busby Babes as United swept past the visitors with three eye-catching goals from Jesse Lingard, the magnificent Anthony Martial and in-form skipper Wayne Rooney.
United took the lead after just 14 minutes when the impressive Cameron Borthwick-Jackson- on his 19th birthday- crossed for Jesse Lingard to head home and end a run of 12 matches without a first half goal at home.
Martial lashed into the side netting and forced a smart save from Jack Butland before he crashed home a goal of the season contender on 23 minutes.
A move that started on the edge of the United box then involved a superb six-man passing move that culminated in a brilliant strike from the Reds blistering, in-form French forward.
Jonathan Walters hooked the Potters best chance over the bar from a corner, while Juan Mata also went close at the other end with a header on the stroke of half-time.
Rooney had a goal disallowed for a foul on Glen Johnson shortly after the restart, but the skipper was not to be denied three minutes later.
Another free-flowing move saw Mata pick out Martial whom in turn crossed for Rooney to fire in his seventh goal in as many games and his 244th for United.
That goal effectively ended the game as a contest, with little to report thereafter in terms of openings on goal.
Substitute Memphis Depay drilled an angled effort narrowly wide and Rooney went close to a fourth, but it mattered little as United wound down the clock to seal a deserved and welcome victory.
Three at Derby, three tonight and promising signs ahead of a tough test at the rejuvenated champions Chelsea on Sunday.
Overall team performance: 8/10
United Faithful Man of the match: Anthony Martial