Wayne Rooney scored a goal-of-the-season contender as his brace helped Manchester United cap a memorable week with a 2-0 win at West Ham.
After Robin van Persie's hat-trick against Olympiacos fired David Moyes' men into the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals on Wednesday, Rooney - stand-in captain due to Nemanja Vidic's suspension - gave everyone a timely reminder of his match-winning ability at Upton Park on Saturday.
Rooney was employed in a more advanced role due to Van Persie's absence with a knee injury, and the 28-year-old broke the deadlock with an ingenious looped half-volley from almost 50 yards in a goal reminiscent of David Beckham's memorable strike against Wimbledon in 1996.
It was fitting that the former England captain was in attendance to witness the goal, watching from the stands, and Beckham saw Rooney add a second after 33 minutes when the ball fell to him fortuitously eight yards out.
Rooney had the chance to complete his hat-trick nine minutes after the break when he met Ashley Young's cross with a looped header, but United had to settle for the two-goal cushion.
Moyes was able to reflect on a rare successful week in a season of disappointments in his maiden campaign at Old Trafford, while Sam Allardyce's West Ham are not yet out of relegation trouble, though they remain six points clear of the drop zone in 14th.
The visitors could have moved ahead as early as the third minute when Marouane Fellaini's downward header was cleared just in front of goal by Andy Carroll.
But the away fans were soon celebrating Rooney's wonder-goal five minutes later.
The England international spotted goalkeeper Adrian off his line and struck an audacious half-volley from almost the half-way line, with the ball looping over the flailing Spaniard before bouncing into the roof of the net.
With Upton Park still stunned, Juan Mata then led a swift breakaway in the 25th minute and picked out Shinji Kagawa on the left, but the Japanese fired straight at Adrian.
West Ham were causing problems of their own from wide areas and captain Kevin Nolan saw his penalty appeal for a tussle with Darren Fletcher waved away by referee Lee Mason in the 33rd minute.
That proved to be a double blow for the home side as, from the resulting counter-attack, Mark Noble cleared Young's cross straight at Rooney and he took advantage of the good fortune with a cushioned side-foot finish.
West Ham made a sprightly opening to the second period without troubling the Manchester United goal.
After settling into the half, Rooney missed the chance for his hat-trick by floating a header wide from Young's cross in the 54th minute.
Young was involved again 11 minutes later as his whipped cross was headed over the crossbar by Fellaini, who was put under pressure by James Collins.
Rooney was replaced by Javier Hernandez in the 77th minute and left the field to a rapturous reception from the visiting supporters, as United comfortably saw out the closing stages.
Fellaini had a tentative claim for a penalty in the closing stages when he went to ground under Antonio Nocerino's challenge, but Mason was unmoved.
|Coach: S. Allardyce|
for M. Diamé 58'
for K. Nolan 72'
for M. Taylor 83'
|Hands off! Milan CEO insists Donnarumma will stay|
|Glory coach Lowe accepts ban|
|Scolari extends contract with Guangzhou Evergrande|
|Guardiola eliminated City doubts - De Bruyne|
|Klopp lauds Ings for ´perfect´ response|
|Wenger: Perez needs to take chance|
|Boys to men: Mourinho challenges United players|
|Kompany committed to bargain with City medics|
|´Insipid´ Hazard overlooked for Ballon d´Or|
|Griezmann named best in LaLiga as big three share awards|
|Hargreaves puzzled by Mkhitaryan omission|
|Ballon d´Or breakdown: LaLiga, Premier League dominant amid French renaissance|
|Struggling Inter hit with Medel ban|
|Messi, Ronaldo and the full 30-man Ballon d´Or shortlist|
|Suarez, Vardy complete Ballon d´Or nominations|
|Neymar joins fellow heavyweights on Ballon d´Or shortlist|
|Neymar joins fellow heavyweights on Ballon d´Or shortlist|
|Messi, Modric nominated for Ballon d´Or|
|Liverpool strong out of Europe, says Pochettino|
|Giroud to make Arsenal return - Wenger|
|Giggs hits out at ´laughing´ United players following Chelsea battering|
|Schmidt given two-match ban after Nagelsmann slur|
|Wenger: 82 points could win the Premier League|
|´Chelsea won´t sell to Barca or Bayern´ - Gladbach optimistic over Christensen|
|Wenger contract not a priority for Arsenal|
|Wenger says sorry for making Arsenal fans suffer|
|Sissoko charged by FA for Arter elbow|
|Liverpool not even close to 100 per cent - Klopp|
|Messi, Neymar and Suarez given three-day break by Barcelona|
|´Arsenal can compete on wages´ - Gazidis quizzed on Ozil and Sanchez|
|Ibrahimovic and Lewandowski nominated for Ballon d´Or|
|What You Might Have Missed: Benfica record, a Plea from Balo and Reto Ziegler´s better than Ronaldo|
|Montella warns AC Milan stars: Don´t let first-place prize trap you|
|Zorc ´tired of b*******´ on Tuchel, Aubameyang|
|West Ham defenders must outsmart Costa, says Ogbonna|
|We did not offer ¥1billion for Nagatomo, insist Jiangsu|
|De Bruyne, Griezmann join Ballon d´Or shortlist|
|Ronaldo isn´t anxious, insists Marcelo|
|Renato Sanches wins Golden Boy award for 2016|
|´I don´t know if I will be here on Wednesday´ – De Boer unsure on future amid sack speculation|
|Ronaldo, Bale among first nominees for Ballon d´Or|
|Wenger: Arsenal showed progress with Middlesbrough draw|
|Thiago Silva wants to extend PSG stay|
|Inaki Williams dismisses Liverpool rumours|
|Coutinho does ´amazing things´ - Matip|
|Wilshere happy to be out of Arsenal comfort zone at Bournemouth|
|Lloris is Premier League´s best goalkeeper - Dier|
|Revolution striker Kamara given yellow card for twerking|
|Klopp rubbishes ´defensive problem´ claims|
|Madrid tracking Dortmund boss Tuchel, claims Watzke|
|MLS Review: Dallas win Supporters´ Shield, Sporting KC sneak into play-offs|
|Ronaldo has ´addiction for goals´ - Morata|
|Emery refuses to point the finger at Di Maria after Marseille draw|
|Zidane vows to play Morata more often|
|Garcia hails Marseille team spirit after PSG draw|
|Neville urges calm at United after Mourinho´s horror Chelsea reunion|
|Zamalek 1 Mamelodi Sundowns 0 (1-3 agg): South Africans clinch first CAF Champions League title|
|Paris Saint-Germain 0 Marseille 0: Champions thwarted in Garcia´s first game|
|Real Madrid 2 Athletic Bilbao 1: Morata to the rescue|
|Bailly sustains knee ligament injury|
|Simeone frustrated by Atletico´s finishing|
|Conte encouraged crowd as Chelsea deserved it|
|Chelsea thrashing painful for Mata and United|
|Chelsea ´dominant from first minute to last´ - Cahill|
|Mourinho blames ´incredible defensive mistakes´ for United loss|
|N´Zonzi cools talk of title challenge|
|Chelsea 4 Manchester United 0: Rampant Blues humble returning Mourinho|
|De Boer: Inter ´played with fear´ in first half|
|Juventus confirm Dybala thigh injury|
|Guardiola vows to fix Manchester City concerns|
|Sevilla 1 Atletico Madrid 0: N´Zonzi strikes to end Simeone´s unbeaten start|
|Bayern set to open Robben, Ribery renewal talks|
|Puel satisfied with City draw|
|Rangers 0 Celtic 1: Late Dembele strike settles Old Firm semi-final|
|Croatian player teased for being ´too smart for football´|
|Redmond expected City to give up chances|
|Feyenoord 1 Ajax 1: Kuyt cancels out Dolberg opener|
|Atalanta 2 Inter 1: Late penalty heaps pressure on De Boer|
|Voller defends Schmidt over touchline dismissal|
|Injured Rooney left out of United squad for Chelsea trip|
|Manchester City 1 Southampton 1: Guardiola´s men back on top but winless run continues|
|Guangzhou Evergrande clinch record sixth straight Super League title|
|´Icon´ Rooney not finished at United - Pereira|
|Zubizarreta-Garcia meeting confirmed by Marseille president|
|Aspas-inspired Celta thrash Deportivo in Galician derby|
|Lorient dismiss coach Ripoll|
|Ronaldo´s impact on football is myth-like - Perez|
|United not distracted by Mourinho´s Chelsea return - Young|
|A-League Review: 20,000th goal helps Newcastle Jets to shock comeback|
|Cech laments Arsenal´s lack of composure|
|Qatar World Cup worker dies at stadium site|
|Galliani wanted Montella at Milan in 2014|
|Mourinho hopes never to return to Chelsea|
|Barzagli angry with AC Milan defeat|
|Iniesta admits ´it could have been worse´ after Barcelona confirm 6-8 week absence|
|Mourinho: I´ll never sell Rooney|
|Ancelotti admits to bowing to Ronaldo demands|
|Ancelotti doubts Conte´s Chelsea can win Premier League|
|Romagnoli happy at Milan amid Chelsea links|
|City must not change their style - Gundogan|
|Conte wants to emulate Mourinho|
|Montella: Rising Milan must handle new expectations|
|Rummenigge dispels Alaba-Manchester City reports|
|Success the key to building connection with fans - Mourinho|
|Gundogan hails ´amazing´ duo Guardiola and Klopp|
|AC Milan players influenced ref for disallowed goal, fumes Allegri|
|Allardyce incident a tragedy, says FA chief executive Glenn|
|Locatelli can´t comprehend beating Buffon|