Debutant Alexis Sanchez put on a man-of-the-match performance as Manchester United whipped Yeovil Town 4-0 to progress to the fifth round of the English FA Cup.
Sanchez had little trouble adjusting to his new place in United’s line-up as he assisted the opening two goals in the Premier League club’s fourth round win at Yeovil Town on Friday.
Marcus Rashford and Ander Herrera both benefited from the Chilean’s presence either side of halftime, while Jesse Lingard and Romelu Lukaku scored late on as the 12 times FA Cup champions overcame a spirited performance from the League Two hosts.
Despite a shaky start to the match, it proved to be a very happy evening for manager Jose Mourinho to mark his 55th birthday, a day after committing his future to Old Trafford until 2020.
Yeovil started the brighter of the two teams in front of a packed Huish Park and had the first shots on goal, Jordan Green in particular testing stand-in United goalkeeper Sergio Romero after 15 minutes.
However, they went behind after 41 minutes when Sanchez played in Rashford who was fortunate that Yeovil defender Thomas James hesitated to clear, allowing the English striker to put the ball in.
Hopes of an upset were further dashed in a swift United counter-attack around the hour mark, with Sanchez once again the provider to the overlapping Herrera, who rifled in with his left foot.
Sanchez’s replacement Lingard continued his recent fine run of form by running into the opposition penalty area late on and firing in his 12th goal of the season in all competitions.
Lukaku then grabbed his third goal of 2018 with a close finish to cap a flattering win for Mourinho’s men.
Fresh from signing a contract extension with Manchester United, Mourinho expressed joy over his new signing’s performance.
“Alexis Sanchez is a fantastic addition, everyone is happy that he comes,” said a delighted Mourinho.
“Good players want good players. The question is always which one is going to be left out, it is not about that for us.
“We have a fantastic group of attacking players and he is another one with more maturity and experience.
“His choice for the second goal is a choice that a player like Marcus Rashford is too nervous to make that kind of decision. He brings maturity and class.”
United will discover their fifth round opponents when the draw is made on Monday, two days before they return to Premier League action at Tottenham Hotspur.
Elsewhere on Friday, Sheffield Wednesday beat Reading 3-1 in an all-Championship clash.
On Sunday, Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, who remain on course for an unprecedented quadruple, have a tough challenge against Championship high-fliers Cardiff while Chelsea face Newcastle.
In another all Premier League tie on Saturday, Liverpool host West Brom, while Nottingham Forest’s reward for dumping out champions Arsenal in the third round is a trip to Hull.