The first half saw Manchester United dominate proceedings against a Sunderland side completely bereft of confidence, 10 points off safety and having failed to find the net for over 10 hours of league football.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic's 28th goal of the season set the visitors on course at the Stadium of Light before Henrikh Mkhitaryan doubled the lead after Sebastian Larsson's red card.
It was another clean sheet for United, and perhaps to make Jose Mourinho even happier after moaning earlier this week about the lack of a clinical striker in his squad, they scored three well-taken goals.
Twitter user @oibanji posted a short clip which showed Mourinho questioning the chant with a quizzical look on his face.
"Not a brilliant performance but a comfortable one".
United overtook Arsenal to move within four points of the top four, on whom they have a game in hand, while they also possess an alternative route into the Champions League in the form of the Europa League.
"Physically he showed, of course, incredible conditions and Thursday (against Anderlecht in the Europa League) he will be there again".
The club return to action with a home match against league leaders Chelsea next weekend.
Mourinho told BBC: "We want to fight in the Premier League until it is mathematically impossible".
United, who had made five changes to their side, started the game the brighter and created their first opportunity after just two minutes, with Jesse Lingard taking aim at goal from the edge of the box only for Jordan Pickford to comfortably make a save.
"Manchester United were playing well but it was a decision that went against us".
"We keep fighting, we keep going", he said after suggesting he will consider attempting to overturn Larsson's impending suspension by appealing against the sending-off.
"You know when Madrid likes a player, they tend to come and get him". "We resisted the results of yesterday when Manchester City and Liverpool won, they left us in a position of "yes" or "no". Zlatan did that. We felt the game was in our pocket.
"I wanted him to play a little bit more".
Jose Mourinho has endured a hugely frustrating endeavour trying to steer United into the top four this season.