United thrash struggling Wolves

PA Sport
Danny Welbeck
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Danny Welbeck

Manchester United went goal crazy as they extended their lead at the top of the Barclays Premier League to four points and pushed woeful 10-man Wolves into bottom spot at Molineux following the 5-0 result.

Jonny Evans' first United goal broke the deadlock and then Wolves had defender Ronald Zubar sent off before Antonio Valencia and Danny Welbeck also struck before half-time. Javier Hernandez's brace then completed United's nap hand.

It was a fifth successive league win for Sir Alex Ferguson's side, who dominated from start to finish against their ailing opponents. In contrast, Wolves have now leaked 19 goals in their last five games and 14 in four under care-taker boss Terry Connor which means they have replaced Wigan in 20th position.

The home side, without a win in front of their own fans since early December, began promisingly. Zubar showed his defensive prowess with a superb tackle to halt the run of Hernandez on the edge of the Wolves area.

Kevin Doyle had Wolves' first attempt on goal but David De Gea dealt with his shot on the turn. Wolves appealed in vain for a penalty after Rafael Da Silva tangled with Matt Jarvis inside the box. The England winger then delivered a teasing cross and 10-goal leading scorer Steven Fletcher glanced his header just wide.

But United gradually assumed control and went ahead after 21 minutes through Evans' first ever goal for the club. A deep corner from Rooney picked out the unmarked Michael Carrick who had time to turn the ball back across goal to Evans, who made no mistake from close range.

Zubar became the first player to be yellow-carded after 27 minutes for a late challenge on Rooney. Then he was sent off after 39 minutes for a second bookable offence when he clattered into Welbeck close to the touch-line. Welbeck could have made it 2-0 after being played in by Rooney but he tripped over his own feet.

Wolves midfielder David Davis limped out of the action after 42 minutes and was replaced by skipper Roger Johnson. A minute later Valencia doubled United's lead. The winger was allowed a free run into the Wolves box after racing on to Rooney's pass and he drilled his shot past Wayne Hennessey into the far corner of the net.

On the stroke of half-time Welbeck made it 3-0 with a simple finish after Evans and Valencia had combined. United were soon back on the offensive after the interval and Hennessey turned Rooney's dipping effort around the post.

It came as no surprise when Hernandez made it 4-0 with a free header from Da Silva's chip into the box. Then Hernandez completed United's nap hand after Valencia and Welbeck had combined.

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