Playing against Wolverhampton seems to be an effective way of ending a crisis. Manchester United, reeling after being dumped out of the Champions League in midweek, needed an emphatic win to get back on course, and that's exactly what the ended up with against Wolves at Old Trafford.
From the very beginning, it was the hosts who were well on top, with Mick McCarthy's men penned back in their own half and leaking chances like a sieve. An early goal seemed inevitable, and after some wastefulness in front of the net Nani finally put United ahead, dancing in from the left flank to slam a low 20-yard shot past Wayne Hennessey. Wayne Rooney, who had been mired in a goal drought, scored in similar fashion shortly thereafter, making it 2-0 before halftime.
Wolves, who had looked reasonably potent on the attack whenever they could get the ball out of their own half, gave their hosts a bit of a shock after the restart, with Kevin Jarvis making mincemeat of right back Chris Smalling (not for the first or last time) before dropping a cross onto the head of Steven Fletcher to make it 2-1. With United pegged back, the game got very messy and the visitors enjoyed their best spell of the match
It wasn't to last - Nani (who along with Antonio Valencia was absolutely brilliant all game) diverted in a low cross to bring it to 3-1, and Wayne Rooney supplied a fantastic finish on the turn to make it four. Things were comfortable enough for Sir Alex Ferguson to hand a debut to Ezekiel Fryers at left back, and he (and United) were able to finish out the game in fairly comfortable fashion.
The win cuts Manchester City's lead at the top of the table to just two points ahead of the leaders' trip to Stamford Bridge on Monday, and perhaps more importantly gives some indication that United are out of that awful run of performances which have seen them playing fairly miserable despite raking up the wins. As for Wolves, they played brightly, but would never have expected to get anything from a trip to Old Trafford. There are easier points to be had.