Following two-straight Premier League defeats, victory against Leicester City on Saturday was essential for Manchester United.
With rivals Manchester City - who they lost to on September 10 - pulling away at the top and Arsenal and Liverpool finding form, the risk for Jose Mourinho's side was losing pace so early on.
And yet, in emphatic fashion, the Red Devils stormed to a 4-0 lead in the first half, courtesy of goals from Chris Smalling, Juan Mata, Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba.
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United would eventually see out an impressive 4-1 win after Demarai Gray threatened an unlikely comeback in the 59th minute, but the question everyone is asking is how exactly they managed to dismantle the champions with such ease.
Well, according to stand-in captain Smalling, it was Mourinho's pre-game team talk that inspired the crushing victory.
In fact, United's manager took a leaf out of Sir Matt Busby's book when motivating his players.
Following the win, Smalling said: "It was one where I think he really wanted to get that factor over of enjoyment and enjoying it.
"He stressed how there's 70-odd thousand people in the stands who would want to be in our shoes and his shoes.
“It's just a case of realising how lucky we are and go out there and enjoy it. You can see that everyone did enjoy it so I think that message really did get across."
Regardless of what Mourinho said, United played with a ferocity that's been missing in recent years.
They came flying out of the traps and pounced upon Leicester's many mistakes, one of which coming before the third goal, where Daley Blind played a quick corner to Mata at the front post and eventually found Rashford, who tapped home.
Mourinho is certainly of that opinion anyway after hailing his players for starting well and keeping up the pressure throughout the 90 minutes.
"I don't think this result was because of the changes,” the Portuguese said, referring to his decision to drop Wayne Rooney. "I think it was down to the fact that we started very well and didn’t stop until the game was closed.
"Normally, we are better in the second half rather than the first, but we started with intensity, movement and dynamism.
"To win at home, against the champions, is very good. Today was about the result and the happiness of the fans."
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