MANCHESTER UNITED took control of Champions League Group A on Wednesday evening, beating CSKA Moscow 4-1 in Russia.
It’s the latest in a run of impressive results for Jose Mourinho’s side in all competitions.
Since their 2-1 European Super Cup defeat to Real Madrid in August, United are unbeaten, scoring 28 times and conceding just four along the way.
Critics argue that United are yet to face a significant test.
The Red Devils showed character in the recent 2-2 Premier League draw at Stoke and for prolonged periods of the 1-0 win at Southampton last Saturday.
That grit suggests, like many of Sir Alex Ferguson’s successful sides, this United have enough about them to dig in and get a result, even when not at their best.
While we’re on the subject of Ferguson, don’t be fooled by some of the posts you may have seen on social media.
Yes, we can all remember the late comebacks and glorious goals, but the Scot knew when to grind out a win, or stay in a game and take a point.
It wasn’t always perfect free-flowing football.
United made light work of CSKA and you could forgive Mourinho if after 27 minutes and United’s third goal, his thoughts wandered to the weekend and the visit of Crystal Palace.
It’s still very early days but you can already see that there’s a familiarity and understanding amongst the United players of what is required of them.
More importantly, they’re enjoying their football and thriving at their challenge.
The main feature of their promising start is the athletic and imposing spine of the team, led by Romelu Lukaku, who has started life at his new club with ten goals in nine games.
Nemanja Matic from Chelsea looks the steal of the transfer window in midfield, and the ever-improving Eric Bailly in defence is supported by world-class David De Gea in goal.
Elsewhere, the supporting cast, who were hampered by inconsistency last year, have stepped up.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan is displaying the form that secured him a move from Dortmund, while Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford are involved in an enthralling battle for a starting spot.
What chance do Crystal Palace have then who head to Old Trafford on Saturday without a win or goal in the Premier League this season?
Despite injuries to Marouane Fellaini, Paul Pogba and Michael Carrick, Roy Hodgson’s task of not only leaving Manchester with anything, but keeping Palace in the league, is looking impossible.
The South Londoners have never beaten United in the Premier League and have only three points to their name from 16 meetings since 1992.
Hodgson’s preparation for the game has also been derailed by an injury to striker Christian Benteke who joins former United man Wilfried Zaha in the treatment room.
So it’s United who look like the safe bet to take the points ahead of the weekend fixture.
But the good news doesn’t end there for United fans.
After all, Chelsea entertain Manchester City in the tea-time kick-off, meaning Mourinho’s men may depart for the international break clear at the top of the table.