Wolverhampton, Mar 18: Manchester United responded to their Europa League exit with a 5-0 thrashing of 10-man Wolves on Sunday to move four points clear at the top of the Premier League.
The champions' 22nd win of the campaign has piled the pressure on second-placed Manchester City ahead of their match at home to Chelsea on Wednesday, and sent Wolves crashing to the bottom of the table on goal difference.
Javier Hernandez struck twice while Jonny Evans, Antonio Valencia and Danny Welbeck also scored in a routine romp that erased the bitter memories of United's disappointment in Bilbao on Thursday.
Three days after United exited the Champions League by losing in Basel, they took their frustrations out on Wolves with a 4-1 victory at Old Trafford and this was another savage return to winning ways against a team seemingly doomed for relegation.
Wolves, still in the game at 1-0 down, then saw Ronald Zubar sent off late in the first half at Molineux and they have now lost their last three games under manager Terry Connor, previously assistant to the sacked Mick McCarthy.
Wolves had gone eight home matches without a victory before the visit of United and that dreadful statistic will only be extended if they continue to display the poor defending that resulted in such an abysmal afternoon.
United could have been ahead long before they finally broke the deadlock in the 21st minute, through one of the simplest goals of the season.
Wayne Rooney's corner was sent back into the penalty area by Michael Carrick and Evans was presented with the easiest of tasks from close range.
It got even worse for Wolves when Zubar was dismissed six minutes before half-time for a second bookable offence, a cynical lunge on Welbeck.
And United increased their lead shortly afterwards through Valencia's devastating finish.
Valencia had missed the previous seven games with a hamstring injury but utilised his pace to race onto Rooney's sublime pass from the half-way line and beat Wayne Hennessey with ease.
Welbeck added a third in added time as Wolves' defence went absent without leave, with the England international slotting in Valencia's pull-back.
With United 3-0 up at the interval, the only question for Sir Alex Ferguson's men was how many more goals they would score in the second half.
It took them 11 minutes of the second period to again exploit the gaps in Wolves' defence, with Hernandez unmarked to head Rafael's cross past a stranded Hennessey.
The Mexico international grabbed a second just five minutes later, rounding off a sublime move involving Welbeck and Valencia with a ruthless finish.
Wolves, to their credit, briefly responded with substitute Michael Kightly and Stephen Fletcher testing United keeper David de Gea but they now appear destined for the second-tier Championship next season.