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his part in a lively United performance, and he was afforded a standing ovation by the Old Trafford crowd as he was withdrawn in the closing stages, with Ashley Young's superb strike rounding off a pleasing night for boss David Moyes.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'
|Everton profited from ´harsh´ refereeing, claims Delaney|
|We will get much better, Guardiola warns rivals|
|Ibrahimovic turned down €100m China deal - Raiola|
|Everton 1 Crystal Palace 1: Benteke cancels out Lukaku opener|
|Rashford looking to emulate Ronaldo at Manchester United|
|Managers given bad name by Allardyce scandal - Moyes|
|Pagliara claims he lied to Telegraph over bungs|
|Dyche excited by Arsenal challenge|
|Mazzarri wary of unleashing Success until he is fully fit|
|Moyes stands by criticism of players|
|Guardiola marvels at amazing Ryder Cup experience|
|Mathieu and Deschamps ´exchange´ gives Mangala recall|
|Retirement threat just ´erratic´ Tevez being dramatic - Joorabchian|
|Dani Alves wants Champions League glory with Juventus|
|Guardiola: Football fans can enjoy Tottenham|
|Ranieri calls for consistency from Leicester|
|Low missing out on ´dream´ player in Castro - Tuchel|
|Mata: I never had problems with Mourinho|
|Conte wants failures to motivate Chelsea|
|Pochettino rules out ´impossible´ England switch|
|Emery pleased with Ben Arfa attitude|
|Gundogan returns for Germany after lengthy absence|
|Terry out again as Chelsea prepare for Hull|
|Hasselbaink refutes corruption allegations|
|Robben to start against Cologne, suggests Ancelotti|
|Prolific Callejon called into Spain squad|
|Hull City offer ´keeps changing´ - Phelan|
|Krueger: Black allegations do not directly affect Southampton|
|Wenger optimistic over Coquelin recovery|
|Hughes focused after Mourinho backing|
|Wenger open to England job|
|Klopp eyes retirement before 60|
|Wenger the pioneer battles on within his own legacy|
|Lukaku: I am not on Suarez´s level yet|
|Ibrahimovic is tremendous even if he does not score - Mourinho|
|CONCACAF Champions League Review: Olimpia, Honduras Progreso claim key wins|
|Astra expected hungover Roma - Spalletti|
|United fixture list a ´poisoned gift´ - Mourinho|
|Ronaldo back for ´stronger´ Portugal|
|Dembele can be next Drogba - Rodgers|
|Mourinho wanted Pogba at Chelsea, says Raiola|
|Puel pleased with ´good point´ in Israel|
|Mourinho not ´over the moon´ with United wins|
|Southampton investigating Eric Black allegations|
|Rodgers: Celtic would challenge at the top in England|
|Ibrahimovic expects more from United|
|Manchester United 1 Zorya 0: Ibrahimovic header earns Mourinho´s men narrow win|
|De Boer blasts Inter for lack of focus|
|Zarate reveals message to ill wife after goalscoring return|
|Raffael suffers fresh injury setback|
|Hapoel Be´er Sheva 0 Southampton 0: Saints´ winning run comes to an end|
|Sparta Prague 3 Inter 1: De Boer´s side humbled in Europa League again|
|Police to review corruption allegations after Telegraph sting|
|Brady hails Wenger as ´possibly the best ever´ Gunners boss|
|Yacob signs new West Brom deal|
|Guidolin prioritising Swansea improvement over his future|
|Sakho outburst has been dealt with – Klopp|
|Bilic sorry for Allardyce in ´very sad´ week for English football|
|Laporte saga nears conclusion as defender earns France call-up|
|Everton are exceeding expectations – Koeman|
|Wenger could be tempted by an international offer, says ex-assistant|
|No excuses for Liverpool this time, says Klopp|
|Rashford left out of England Under-21 squad|
|Boro must pick up where they left off - Karanka|
|Matuidi could still join Juventus, says Raiola|
|Pardew anticipates battle of the Belgians|
|Legia Warsaw to face Real Madrid behind closed doors|
|England job would be the pinnacle - Pardew|
|Wright sacked by Barnsley|
|Bilic defends West Ham team night out|
|Ramsey withdrawal was Arsenal´s call - Coleman|
|LMA demand ´immediate full disclosure´ of corruption evidence|
|´My answer would be a big fat no´ - Coleman rules out taking England job|
|Leeds dismiss Cellino sting as ´non-story´|
|Gabigol, Rashford and Sanches among Golden Boy nominees|
|Keane slams Arsenal: Half their players will have gloves on soon|
|´Special´ Man City draw a career highlight, says Gordon|
|Southgate admits England situation is ´not ideal´|
|England should have gone for O´Neill, says Shilton|
|PSG´s powers of recovery impress Cavani|
|Howe ´absolutely committed´ to Bournemouth amid England links|
|Man City proved character against Celtic, says Zabaleta|
|Walcott: Sanchez partnership bodes well for Arsenal´s season|
|MLS Review: DC, Impact on track for play-offs|
|CONCACAF Champions League Review: Tigres, Dallas left waiting|
|Central Sanchez pleases Wenger|
|Barca felt Messi absence - Busquets|
|Martino knew Messi would come out of retirement|
|Shilton never convinced by Allardyce|
|Degenek replaced by Giannou for Socceroos|
|Griezmann will still take penalties - Simeone|
|Simeone proud of ´one of the best´ wins|
|Godin suffers sprained ankle ligament|
|West Ham receive positive news over injured duo|
|Robson: Four wins for Southgate and he´s an England contender|
|Gunes rues Besiktas´ inability to see off Dynamo|
|Sarri: Late goals leave bitter taste|
|Borussia Monchengladbach were exceptional against Barcelona, feels Schubert|
|PSG must be patient, says Emery|
|Celtic are lucky to have Dembele - Rodgers|
|I´m completely focused on Arsenal, insists Wenger amid England talk|