Manchester United&aposs victory over Chelsea was just about as comfortable as things have been in the Premier League this season, though neither club can be considered a scalp anymore.
United know the real tests will come next week when they face Bayern Munich and Liverpool, two of the best teams in the world. Now they would be scalps.
PLAYER RATINGS: McTominay and Garnacho good vs Chelsea
ANALYSIS: United&aposs new undroppable is giving Ten Hag a problem
Another victory against Bournemouth this weekend would help build further confidence ahead of that massive double-header and it is hard to see Erik ten Hag making many changes from the side that eased past Chelsea.
United were much better for dropping Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford, but the biggest positive came in midfield, where they were much closer to the balance that has been missing all season.
Even though he saw a penalty saved, Bruno Fernandes was a constant creative threat and the beating heart of the team. Scott McTominay continued his fine form with another clinical brace and Sofyan Amrabat put in his best defensive display for the club yet.
There are still a few issues that need ironing out, but that could be the blueprint from which to build a midfield that has both defensive strength and plenty of attacking threat.
Ten Hag has wished for consistency all season, believing that having a largely settled side will be the key to finding the momentum required to build confidence, surge up the table and allow them to implement a clear style of play.
United&aposs midfield can offer just that. Amrabat was signed as a Casemiro alternative and is finally starting to show he might be able to do so, though there were still times when he was exposed last night. That could well be down to a lack of match fitness and the hope will be that the more he plays, the more he improves. He should get that opportunity in the weeks ahead.
The main decision could be what Ten Hag does with the other two. Fernandes and McTominay are both undroppable at the moment, but it is difficult to get the best out of them both at the same time.
Fernandes and McTominay are both at their best when given licence to push forward and embrace their attacking freedom, yet they still need one of the pair to drop deeper, link play and help out defensively as well.
It is well established that the Scotland international is not a defensive midfielder and the solution to United&aposs dilemma could in fact come by pushing him higher up and using Fernandes in a more central role.
The Portuguese international has played well in that position previously, though it wouldn&apost be playing to his strengths and United could well lose their most constant creative threat as a result of such a switch.
Then there is the Kobbie Mainoo factor, too. He has shown, in glimpses, why he is one of the most exciting youngsters in the game right now, but it is also clear that he is a raw talent who must be carefully managed if he is to ever fulfill such enormous potential.
He could well benefit from being the first reserve to bolster the midfield in the weeks ahead, without the pressure of having to start matches on a regular basis and with the ability to get meaningful minutes from the bench, depending on the circumstances.
With midfield trio Mason Mount, Christian Eriksen and Casemiro all on the path to recovery, there has never been a better time for the current options to find form.