Football: United rekindle glory days with 3-0 win over Stoke

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney (left) shoots to score during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Stoke City at the Old Trafford Stadium , Manchester, Britain, on Feb 2, 2016.
Manchester United's Wayne Rooney (left) shoots to score during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Stoke City at the Old Trafford Stadium , Manchester, Britain, on Feb 2, 2016. PHOTO: EPA

LONDON (Reuters) - Manchester United reminded their fans of a bygone era after a superb performance gave the winners of a record 20 English league titles a 3-0 home win over Stoke City in the Premier League on Tuesday (Feb 2).

Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial struck in the first half and Wayne Rooney was on target after the interval, scoring his 99th league goal at Old Trafford and taking his Premier League tally in January to five goals and two assists.

The result kept United in the hunt for a top-four finish, while it also eased the pressure on Dutch manager Louis van Gaal.

Before the kick-off, fans paid tribute to the club's players and staff who perished in the Munich air crash on Feb 6, 1958 as the Stretford End unveiled a giant flag showing the victims' images and the famous chant "We'll never die."

In line with the adventurous philosophy which spurred United to win a haul of trophies under former manager Alex Ferguson, they finally reverted to the attacking football that had been missing under Van Gaal.

But the heavily criticised 64-year-old could finally afford a smile as a fired up Rooney, backed by a fluid support cast of Lingard, Martial and Juan Mata, fired on all cylinders.