His latest trick proved to be the revival of Romelu Lukaku as a goalscoring force which kept the momentum rolling forward with victory at Crystal Palace while in the grip of a crisis of injuries.
Lukaku’s first Premier League goal since January 2 fired United ahead at Selhurst Park.
Ten weeks since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer arrived at Manchester United as interim manager and his transformative powers remain strong.
MATCH FACTS AND STATS
Crystal Palace 4-3-3: Guaita 5; Ward 6, Kelly 5, Tomkins 5.5, Van Aanholt 5.5 (Kouyate 82 min); McArthur 6 (Meyer 61, 7), Milivojevic 6, Schlupp 6.5; Townsend 6.5, Batshuayi 5 (Benteke 78), Zaha 6
Goal: Ward 66
Bookings: Kelly, Zaha
Subs: Hennessey, Dann, Riedewald, Ayew
Manager: Roy Hodgson 6.5
Man United 4-3-3: De Gea 6; Young 6.5, Lindelof 6, Smalling 6, Shaw 7.5; Pogba 7, McTominay 6.5, Fred 6 (Garner 89); Dalot 7 (Bailly 77), Lukaku 8, Sanchez 5 (Rashford, 77)
Goals: Lukaku 33, 52, Young 83
Bookings: Sanchez, Shaw, Lukaku
Subs: Romero, Pereira, Rojo, Chong
Manager: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer 7
It owed much to a fabulous run by Luke Shaw but the finish was stylish and confident with his right foot and took him into double figures in club football this season.
Lukaku’s second of the night was hooked in with his left foot after central defenders Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelhof had kept a corner alive.
Palace pulled one back through Joel Ward and were taking risks in search of an equaliser when Ashley Young scored United’s third in the closing minutes.
The visitors stretched their unbeaten run in the Premier League to 11 games under Solskjaer and tightened their stranglehold on Palace.
The South Londoners have not beaten United in a league game for nearly 28 years.
Roy Hodgson might have hoped this was a night his in-form team might exploit an injury crisis in the ranks of the visitors but the script did not unfold in quite that manner.
De Gea’s right knee caught the frame of the goal and he was clearly in pain but was able to continue after treatment.
The United goalkeeper was soon beaten when Ward converted Schlupp’s cross from the left with a diving header and Solskjaer’s team wobbled.
Sanchez was booked for handball as his frustration boiled over and Scott McTominay sparked a fracas in midfield for hauling Wilfried Zaha to the floor.
De Gea saved from Max Meyer, who gave Palace fresh impetus from the bench, Michy Batshuayi headed over and Luka Milivojevic curled a free-kick wide.
Solskjaer reinforced his defence by sending on Eric Bailly at right back and moving Young onto the wing and it was young who scored the third, forcing a shot past Guaita from an acute angle.
With the points secure, it was the cue for the United manager to send on 17-year-old James Garner for his debut.