The returning Robin van Persie overshadowed Juan Mata on his debut as Manchester United claimed a comfortable 2-0 victory over Cardiff City.
Spain international Mata was given his first outing in a United shirt since completing his club-record £37.1million deal from Premier League rivals Chelsea on Saturday, but it was Van Persie - making his first appearance since December 10 due to a groin injury – who stole the show by notching the opener.
Mata played his part in a lively United performance, and he was afforded a standing ovation by the Old Trafford crowd as he was withdrawn in the closing stages, with Ashley Young's superb strike rounding off a pleasing night for boss David Moyes.
Cardiff manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who enjoyed an 11-year spell as a player at United, could not spoil the party against his former club - the Norwegian enduring an unhappy homecoming as he continues to search for his first Premier League victory in charge.
The home side controlled the tempo in the first half and deservedly moved ahead when Van Persie scored his fifth goal in his last six Premier League games with a close-range header.
United continued to impress and Young added a second with a fierce strike just short of the hour mark, as United surpassed 1,000 points at Old Trafford in the Premier League.
United utilised Mata behind Van Persie, while Wayne Rooney was on the substitutes' bench after a five-match lay-off with a foot injury.
As well as welcoming back Solskjaer, there was another familiar face for United fans in the Cardiff line-up, as they named former Old Trafford striker Fraizer Campbell in their starting XI.
The home side were rewarded for a bright start with the opener after six minutes.
Antonio Valencia headed Young's teasing delivery against the crossbar and, although David Marshall saved Van Persie's initial follow-up, the Dutchman nodded home the rebound.
Mata was at the heart of all United's attacking play but, despite their solid start, it took until the 34th minute for the champions to fashion another chance of note when Patrice Evra's clever backheel found the lively Van Persie, who flashed an effort across goal from an acute angle.
Cardiff could have punished the hosts when Craig Noone crossed from the right, only for his delivery to narrowly evade Campbell.
The visitors enjoyed a spell of pressure after the break and Declan John's cutback only just escaped the attentions of Campbell again.
United were rarely in danger, however, and Young made it 2-0 on 59 minutes when he received the ball on the left before cutting inside and skipping past two challenges to rifle into the far corner from 25 yards.
Shortly afterwards, Rooney replaced Van Persie - and he was soon among the action with a deflected effort sailing narrowly wide.
Valencia then saw Marshall tip his effort onto the post as United piled on the pressure.
Mata saw an effort deflected over before he was withdrawn with time running out, receiving the adulation of his new fans.
Rooney then curled wide from 20 yards in injury time but United had done enough.
|20||R. van Persie||6'|
|Coach: D. Moyes|
for R. van Persie 63'
for R. Giggs 71'
for Mata 84'
|Palermo v Milan: Paletta urges visitors to keep faith|
|Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munich: Lewandowski keen to return|
|Eredivisie Preview: Feyenoord out to maintain winning form|
|Everton can finish top four next season - Osman|
|Copa Libertadores Review: Corinthians preserve perfect record|
|Serie A Preview: Lazio hoping to overhaul Roma|
|Bundesliga Preview: Undermanned Bayern set for Dortmund trip|
|Filipe Luis plans to see out Chelsea contract|
|United cannot dwell on Liverpool win - Rooney|
|Bojan: I´ll return better than ever|
|Pique focused ahead of crucial period for Barca|
|Coventry City 0 Leyton Orient 1: Wright´s goal lifts visitors out of relegation zone|
|US senators want Russia removed as 2018 World Cup host|
|Advocaat hoping to see Brown again this season|
|Aubameyang eyes Europa League spot ahead of Bayern test|
|Pique expecting Messi to be fit to face Celta|
|Sterling: I´m not a money-grabber|
|Elche players and staff cancel club commitments|
|Milik makes permanent Ajax switch|
|Ligue 1 Preview: PSG out to extend Classique record against Marseille|
|Real´s Pepe suffers thigh injury|
|League One Preview: Clough not panicking in promotion bid|
|West Ham set to welcome Reid back for Leicester|
|League Two Preview: Johnson begins survival bid with Cheltenham|
|Icardi keen to commit his future to Inter|
|Swansea dealt Carroll injury blow|
|Jardim keen to maintain Monaco´s Ligue 1 surge|
|Debuchy relieved after stepping up Arsenal comeback|
|Championship Preview: Bournemouth ready to unleash Jones at Ipswich|
|Alaba faces seven-week absence|
|West Brom´s Mulumbu wary of tricky run-in|
|Elliott unsure over Carver future|
|UEFA and FIFPro launch third-party ownership complaint|
|Lucas keen for Liverpool return|
|UEFA to investigate disruptions in Georgia|
|Selke swaps Bremen for Leipzig|
|Hurst backs Allardyce amid uncertain future|
|Herrmann pens Gladbach extension|
|Pique calm over Spain defeat|
|Queiroz leaves Iran|
|Hiddink fumes at booing of Iniesta|
|La Liga Preview: Sevilla working on new Emery deal ahead of Bilbao´s visit|
|Santos: Portugal attitude was fine in Cape Verde defeat|
|Bayern face anxious wait over Alaba injury|
|´Title is within reach´ for Marseille - Ocampos|
|Martino hails Argentina performance|
|MLS Preview: DC United, Orlando City battle for top spot|
|Panama 2 Costa Rica 1: Perez, Tejada end visitors´ unbeaten run|
|Kluivert´s Curacao advance to second round|
|Mexico 1 Paraguay 0: Eduardo Herrera´s debut goal secures victory|
|Mexico 1-0 Paraguay: Eduardo Herrera's debut goal secures victory|
|Argentina 2 Ecuador 1: Pastore the hero in Messi´s absence|
|Peru 0 Venezuela 1: Martinez goal settles heated contest|
|Wilmots pleased with Belgium´s response|
|Hodgson satisfied with draw|
|Argentina 2-1 Ecuador: Pastore the hero in Messi's absence|
|Real agree to sign Danilo|
|Turin return evoked ´strong emotions´ for Conte|
|Hiddink looking to build on Spain win|
|Del Bosque frustrated by friendly defeat|
|Bradford City 0 Chesterfield 1: Harrison strike moves visitors into play-off places|
|Portugal 0 Cape Verde 2: Hosts suffer shock friendly defeat|
|Townsend takes swipe at TV pundit Merson|
|Plane issue grounds England squad|
|Israel 0 Belgium 1: Fellaini nets again as Kompany sees red|
|N´Koulou returns to full Marseille training|
|Netherlands 2 Spain 0: Hosts ease pressure on Hiddink|
|Italy 1 England 1: Townsend leveller rescues draw|
|Ghana 1 Mali 1: Sako spot-kick denies Black Stars|
|Luxembourg 1 Turkey 2: Calhanoglu stakes claim with late winner|
|Ghana 1-1 Mali: Sako spot-kick denies Black Stars|
|Italy 1-1 England: Townsend rocket earns draw for Three Lions|
|Rummenigge marvels at ´genius´ Guardiola|
|Switzerland 1 United States 1: Stocker seals draw after Altidore red|
|Young players should not need a break, says Dyche|
|Tottenham acquire final piece of land for new stadium|
|Portugal 0-2 Cape Verde Islands: African minnows claim historic victory|
|Netherlands 2-0 Spain: Rejuvenated Dutch ease pressure on Hiddink|
|Switzerland 1-1 USA: Altidore sent off in friendly draw|
|Palestinian FA speaks out against Israel-Belgium venue selection|
|Valdes enjoying football again after injury nightmare|
|Emotional Cha retires ´a happy man´|
|Dortmund´s Kirch suffers knee injury|
|Newcastle need to be mentally prepared, says Williamson|
|Leno ´knows nothing´ of Real interest|
|Tunisia to compete in AFCON after apology|
|Van der Vaart not allowing future to affect his game|
|Vlaar: Sherwood has reduced stress levels|
|Roma hit by Gervinho hamstring blow|
|Jones optimistic over Everton´s strike partnership|
|Milik sustains knee ligament damage|
|Georgia fear stadium closure for Scotland clash|
|Zamparini: Juventus and Arsenal have bid for Dybala|
|South Korea 1 New Zealand 0: Lee nets late winner|
|Japan 5 Uzbekistan 1: Five-star hosts maintain Halilhodzic start|
|European clubs benefit from UEFA agreement|
|Vassell: Sky is the limit for Kane|
|Manchester United move would be an ´honour´ for Coentrao|
|Insigne out to bolster Napoli season after lay-off|
|Rooney warns Kane over ´clever´ Italy defenders|
|Rangers results reveal £500,000 Newcastle clause|
|Southampton announce £33.4m profit|
|´I am a very flexible man´ - Van Gaal|
|A-League Preview: Top spot up for grabs|
|Portugal - Cape Verde Preview: Andre and Oliveira eager for international bows|
|Puerto Rico 0 Canada 3: Floro´s men rout hosts|
|Xavi denies Al Sadd link|
|Fernando´s life ban upheld by CAS|
|Argentina - Ecuador Preview: Messi remains doubtful for friendly|
|Falcao equals Colombia´s all-time scoring record|
|Macedonia trip good learning curve - Postecoglou|