Manchester United cruised to a 4-1 win against an insipid Fulham to advance to the 5th round of the FA Cup. At home against a side whose form could be most succinctly described as 'hilarious', United's progression was more or less guaranteed, but the manner in which they outplayed their guests rendered the contest more like a training session than an actual match.
The match began in calamitous fashion for the visitors. Steve Sidwell took less than half a minute to cough up the ball in dangerous territory, handing possession to Wayne Rooney and breathing a sigh of relief to see the resultant shot scrambled just wide for a corner.
Relief didn't last long for the Cottagers, however, because as Chris Smalling rose to meet Rooney's inswinging delivery, Aaron Hughes made the bizarre decision to bat the ball clear with his left arm. Referee Mark Clattenburg had no choice but to point to the spot, and Ryan Giggs stepped up to convert despite Mark Schwarzer getting fingertips to his sweetly-struck kick.
Rooney would come close to making it 2-0 in the 21st minute when Nani picked him out with a cross, but his low effort was scrambled onto the crossbar thanks to a timely intervention from Schwarzer. Instead, it would take him another half hour to find his way onto the scoresheet.
A great through pass from Anderson saw the England international race clear of the Cottagers' defence, and he checked back to finish smartly past Schwarzer. Seconds later, Javier Hernandez added to Fulham's woes with an acrobatic finish after a complete meltdown allowed first Nani and then Rooeny to send in crosses from the byline.
The match had been over since Giggs' goal, and now it was a question of avoiding embarrassment for the visitors. Chicharito grabbed his second after a merry waltz though the Fulham defence which ended with Hughes deflecting the striker's shot beyond Schwarzer to make it 4-0.
Martin Jol's side did manage a consolation when Hughes evaded Rooney to head home a corner at the near post, but it was quite obviously too little too late as United cruised through to the 5th round.