Two devastating long-range strikes from Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie and solid play from the back line helped Manchester United throttle Hull City 3-0 at Old Trafford Saturday.
Defender Chris Smalling put United up in the 16th minute, but it was Rooney’s fifth goal of the term that handed the Red Devils a 2-0 lead heading into the half and all but sewed up the victory.
Struggling and in danger of losing his starting spot with Radamel Falcao lurking, Van Persie assisted Rooney on his goal, and the Dutchman employed his always dangerous left-foot in the 66th minute and possibly saved his job.
The Red Devils secured their third straight Premier League victory, and bumped Arsenal down a notch to reclaim fourth place on the table after a very brief stay in fifth. Hull suffered their third consecutive loss, sixth overall, and remain winless in their last five matches.
In the first half United overwhelmed Hull with eight total shots and five corner kicks, while maintaining a 76-24 possession advantage. Hull could only muster one shot in the first 45 minutes, a valiant effort from defender Michael Dawson that sailed wide right after a free kick.
After Smalling wrapped his first goal of the term by rebounding a corner kick for a right-footed shot to the center of the goal at close range, Rooney found the net in the 42nd minute. Poor tackling in midfield and failure to control the ball would plague Hull throughout the match, and it would allow Van Persie enough space to find Rooney streaking to the middle of the penalty area for his shot to the left side of the net.
With another breakdown of Hull’s midfield, Ander Herrera found Van Persie on the left wing and the 31-year-old scorched a curving left-footed strike to the top left corner for the 3-0 advantage.