Manchester United kept the pressure up at the top of Barclays Premier League by thrashing a woeful Fulham at Craven Cottage.

The dominant 12-time Premier League champions waltzed into a three-goal lead before half-time with Nani proving instrumental as his assists for Danny Welbeck and Ryan Giggs sandwiched his own flicked header.

The hosts fought back in the second period, but Wayne Rooney's thumping finish, and Dimitar Berbatov’s classy flick completed the comprehensive win over Martin Jol’s side.

Attempting to keep the pressure on leaders Manchester City at the top of the Premier League, United started the contest with Fulham, a historically tricky trip for the reigning champions, from where they left off against Queens Park Rangers on Sunday, taking the lead after just five minutes

Chris Baird gave Nani too much room to manufacture a cross from the left, which found an unmarked Welbeck, with the England international making the full-back pay as he duly converted.

Nani soon turned goalscorer after his header evaded David Stockdale, and the outstretched boot of Rooney, before the 25-year-old fed Giggs, whose shot deflected off Phillipe Senderos and looped in for United’s third.

Fulham improved on their first half showing after the interval, and should have notched a consolation when Clint Dempsey headed straight at Anders Lindegaard.

Lndegaard then had to be alert to keep out Andrew Johnson, while the Danish stopper kept his clean sheet intact with a low stop from the ex-Crystal Palace front-man late on.

But it was United who had the last word in the closing minutes, with Rooney smashing home from 30 yards, before the most audacious of flicks from Berbatov crowned a comfortable win for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side.

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