Manchester United gave manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a much-needed boost with a 6-0 mauling of Tranmere on Sunday to reach the FA Cup fifth round.
Despite a fast Tranmere start, United scored three goals in six minutes against the run of play through unlikely scorers Harry Maguire (10), Diogo Dalot (13) and Jesse Lingard (16) to effectively end the match as a contest.
Workmanlike Tranmere held out until the last five minutes of the half, but Phil Jones (41) and Anthony Martial (45) made it five before the break, while United fans chanted songs criticising their owners.
Mason Greenwood (56) wrapped the game up with a penalty just before the hour to put the seal on a highly clinical and effective performance marking their biggest away win this century on a poor Prenton Park pitch.
How Manchester United thrashed Tranmere
Tranmere actually started much the brighter, with the lively Morgan Ferrier causing trouble with his bustling runs and drawing a booking from the uncertain Jones after just four minutes.
But despite the nervy start, United took the lead through Maguire's first goal since joining the club in the summer. The United captain unleashed a fierce, dipping 20-yard effort that skimmed off the head of Peter Clarke on its way to the top corner.
Dalot then jinked into the box and struck the ball sweetly across Tranmere goalkeeper Scott Davies before Lingard curled in a fine effort from the edge of the box to put Solskjaer's side in complete control.
Jones rose above Connor Jennings to nod in from a corner for his first goal in five years, before Martial - via a slight deflection off Kieron Morris - made it five from an almost identical position to Lingard's goal.
After the break Greenwood extended the lead even further from the penalty spot, coolly sending Davies the wrong way after Tahith Chong was chopped down recklessly by the Tranmere goalkeeper.
Greenwood's goal marked the first time United had scored six goals in a game since Sir Alex Ferguson was in charge of the 8-2 thrashing of Arsenal in 2011, and only the second time in their history they had six different scorers.
Six substitutions disrupted the match's rhythm and tempo, but the visitors kept piling on pressure, with Lingard then Tahith Chong striking the woodwork before the game petered out as Tranmere shut up shop.
United fans voice their anger
Visiting United supporters set off smoke bombs in a lively away end, while singing several anti-Glazer songs.
The majority of fans then continued singing for around five minutes, finishing with 'We're Man United, we'll sing what we want'.
Whether executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and the Glazers - not present at the game - heed the supporters' urging and make any signings before the deadline on January 31 remains to be seen.
When asked about the protests, Solskjaer said: "We are just going to keep on working and trying to get the results right and move the club forward.
"Supporters are always happier when you win games and are successful. We will just keep working to get this right."
Analysis from Sky Sports News reporter Fraser Dainton at Prenton Park...
"It certainly seemed to be an organised demonstration by the United fans, as on 25 minutes smoke bombs were let off in the away end. I saw one that was green, another that was red.
"A small banner was unfurled saying 'We want Glazers out'. It seemed as if the entire away section was in one voice as they sang 'Love United, hate Glazers'.
"The singing went on for several minutes, while stewards dealt with the smoke bombs. Several other songs were heard around the same time, in support of Solskjaer."
What the managers said
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said: "A lot has been said and written about this pitch. We played it well. We didn't want to make it a long-ball fight because that's not the game we wanted.
"We put the ball down and scored nice goals - we have good footballers who give everything in every game.
"It's brilliant to get six different goalscorers and it's important we spread that through the team. We've lost Marcus for a little while. Our two strikers scored - a confidence boost for everyone."
Tranmere manager Micky Mellon said: "We can draw a line under it and prepare for Wednesday at home to Sunderland. The finances hopefully will let us improve the group, which can hopefully let us drive ourselves out of our situation.
"We will endeavour to stay up. No distractions now. We have 19 leagues games left to drive forward. If they keep showing that level of fight and endeavour we'll be fine."
Man of the Match - Jesse Lingard
Although skipper Harry Maguire - who handed Lingard the plaque - played well, Lingard merited the man-of-the-match award based on his all-action performance: committed out of possession, full of silky running and clever flicks on the ball.
He scored only his second in his last 42 appearances in all competitions, and only his fifth in 49 games under his current manager. Maintaining this level of performance is the minimum needed if he wants to get back in the United side - or ever play for England again.