Wednesday, August 11, 1999 Published at 19:12 GMT 20:12 UK
All too easy for Man Utd
Red alert: Paul Scholes hooks home the opening goal for United
Man Utd 4-0 Sheff Wed
Champions Manchester United illustrated the gulf in class in the Premiership with a comprehensive demolition of a sorry Sheffield Wednesday side.
And simple strikes after the break from Andy Cole and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer put the gloss on the scoreline that their performance deserved.
It was carnival time at Old Trafford, as United's conquering heroes were given a tumultuous welcome before their first home game since completing the Treble in Barcelona.
United, always in total control, hardly had to hit top gear - choosing instead to stroll their way to the three points.
Wednesday simply had no answer to United's world class midfield and the visitors were out-played so comprehensively that their players looked like they wanted to go home long before half-time.
Owls manager Danny Wilson will be particularly concerned about the state of his defence, which was absent without leave for long periods of the match.
It did not take long for United to get the shock of Everton's late equaliser on Sunday out of their system - and with nine minutes on the clock they were ahead.
Scholes almost cancelled out all his good work, when he played a stray back pass into the path of Niclas Alexandersson, but the Swede was unable to keep his shot down.
But that aberration apart, the first half belonged totally to United.
Indeed, such was their dominance of proceedings, that for long periods Henning Berg abandoned his defensive duties and seemed to be operating as an extra striker.
Srnicek did well to keep out an acrobatic header from Berg and Andy Cole's close-range effort.
Only some sloppy finishing kept the score down. In a comical episode Berg, twice, and Cole somehow managed to miss the target from point-blank range, after Beckham's sweeping cross had left the Wednesday goal exposed.
But the second goal was not long in coming, as Yorke headed home Giggs' cross from a unmarked position.
Owls in generous mood
The second half continued in practice-match mode, with both crowd and players in subdued mood.
Ten minutes after the break the lapses looked even more costly, as substitute Teddy Sheringham's shot was diverted over the line by Cole.
Solskjaer then completed his party piece with a goal after coming off the bench.
The Norwegian, who had himself just seen a powerful shot hit both the bar and then the post, was on hand to finish off after Sheringham had struck the woodwork.
Man Utd: Bosnich, Neville, Irwin, Berg, Stam, Beckham, Scholes, Keane, Cole, Yorke, Giggs. Subs: Van Der Gouw, Sheringham, Butt, Curtis, Solskjaer.
Sheff Wed: Srnicek, Atherton, Hinchcliffe, Thome, Walker, Sonner, Sibon, Rudi, Alexandersson, Newsome, De Bilde. Subs: Pressman, Carbone, Cresswell, Briscoe, Haslam.
Referee: M Reed (Birmingham)