This was the thrashing the scoreline suggests. Fulham turned up and did little else. For Manchester United, a FA Cup triumph after a nine-year gap is still on and they are also gunning for a repeat of the 1999 treble.
Javier Hernández, who scored twice, said: "All the people should know we want to win this one, the Champions League and the league. For [nearly] 10 years, all the players have been here, they have not won this Cup. The gaffer, my team-mates and myself, we want to win this Cup. We have a lot of hunger to win and not to be distracted by the league and the Champions League. We're very happy, we're very pleased because we scored four goals and we got through in the Cup.
"I want to win all three. I want to win the Treble. That's on our minds. We need to think game by game, get the points in the league and then get through in the Champions League and the FA Cup."
Hernández scored his 13th and 14th goals of the season against a lame Fulham. "It's very pleasing," he said. "The most important thing for me right now is to win the Treble. We have that chance. We have a very good calendar and we're looking forward."
"Chicarito" is giving Sir Alex Ferguson the right type of selection problem. "It is a terrible dilemma with that lad because sometimes I have to leave him out to bring Robin van Persie in," the manager said. "We regard him so highly. He is a fantastic professional, with an unbelievable attitude to the game. He never stops running and it is exactly the same in every single training session."
United went ahead after 127 seconds through a Ryan Giggs penalty before Wayne Rooney and Hernández completed the rout in the second half. As Ferguson mentioned afterwards this was all done by a side with six changes and with Rio Ferdinand, Van Persie, Shinji Kagawa, Antonio Valencia, Danny Welbeck and Paul Scholes starting on the bench.
Following criticism from the game against Spurs David De Gea was in the XI and he had quiet afternoon. Whether Rooney returns to being the chief penalty taker when Giggs does not play remains to be seen. "One thing about Wayne is that it does not faze him if he does miss one," said Ferguson of the striker who was stood down after missing 10 for United. "He's got a fantastic temperament in that way."
There was high praise for Phil Jones, who lined up alongside Chris Smalling in central defence. "Jones has got more in his locker than John [Terry]," Ferguson said. "Terry has got the experience and has become a fantastic central figure at Chelsea. But as a young player, Terry would be the first to admit he didn't have the pace of Phil Jones. Phil is a versatile boy, he can play anywhere. He's quick, two-footed, reads games well and is competitive. He's doing very well."
Martin Jol's Fulham side, for whom Aaron Hughes scored a late consolation, are six points above the relegation zone and play West Ham United on Wednesday. Jol said: "They are in a similar situation to us, they have got a few more points but it doesn't matter. We have to earn the right to play our game and then can give any team a good game, especially at home. Our last win at home was against Newcastle and then we had draws against Southampton and Wigan so we need the points, especially at home."
To strengthen the team Arsenal's Emmanuel Frimpong has been recruited on loan until the end of the season. "I think he's quite a good warrior," Jol said. "We are not the youngest team in the league and maybe he can give us a bit more legs."
Is he confident Fulham can stay out of the relegation zone? "It's quite simple – you need four or five wins but if you leave that up until the end of the season you could probably end up with a problem. If we win those games as soon as possible it could be easier. I think you will need 36 or 37 points and then probably in the final couple of games another three or four. But there are a lot of teams there - probably eight teams who are fairly concerned."
Man of the match Javier Hernández (Manchester United)
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image: © Audrey Pilato