Manchester United came back from two goals down Thursday to beat Hull City 3-2 at the KC Stadium, securing victory thanks to goals from Chris Smalling, Wayne Rooney and a James Chester own goal.
While not on the scoresheet, England striker Danny Welbeck was also heavily involved in the victory in what was a sixth consecutive start at club level.
In the continued absence of Robin van Persie, the in-form forward was once more chosen to lead the line for the Red Devils in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Wayne Rooney behind.
He was ineffective in the early stages as United struggled to get into the game, with Hull taking the lead in the opening minutes before doubling their advantage on the 13-minute mark.
Danny Welbeck's pass-completion rate across the season is 86.9%, today he completed at 93%.— Premier League Owl (@premleagueowl) December 26, 2013
An enforced substitution just five minutes later, though, saw Adnan Januzaj introduced for the injured Rafael and United push on to pull level before the half-hour mark.
As the Red Devils struck back strongly, Welbeck began to make an impact. Showing the same confidence and intent as in recent weeks, he was strong in his holdup play and brought the likes of Januzaj, Rooney and Ashley Young into the game well.
Indeed, United's equalising goal would come courtesy of Welbeck's work around the edge of the box. He combined well with Rooney to give his colleague a shooting chance, which was dispatched with venom.
A fully-fit, confident and (mostly) in-position Danny Welbeck is a beautiful thing. No goals today but another brilliant all-round display— Nick (@ManUnitedYouth) December 26, 2013
In the second period, United would introduce Mexico striker Javier Hernandez in an attempt to secure a winning goal. As a consequence, Welbeck dropped deeper and Rooney was moved into midfield.
From his deeper role, Welbeck was able to greater demonstrate his pace and direct running as Hernandez was left with the responsibility of bringing colleagues into the game.
On a couple of occasions, the combination almost came to fruition, although poor final balls from the North American left the England man with difficult finishes that were scuffed on his left foot.
Welbeck worked really hard tonight. Would have loved had he got a goal but fine performance from him.— Vishwas_Mufc (@manunited4everr) December 26, 2013
He did play a role in the winning goal for his side, though, as his pass to Ashley Young evaded the desperate lunge of Maynor Figueroa to find Young on the right. The latter's excellent cross was then headed home by the unfortunate Chester.
It was a performance typical of Welbeck, with plenty of industry and dedication to his defensive duties. He was also neat and tidy in his buildup play and ambitious in his running. With cleaner strikes of the ball when finishing, he could have added goals to his game.
Danny Welbeck was superb today. His control, hold up play and distribution was quality.— Neil Bernstein (@nbernste) December 26, 2013
Welbeck must still work on his finishing, as he often errs when given time in front of goal. However, it is not difficult to see why he is popular with managers for both club and country.
United are back in action Saturday against Norwich, and it is difficult to imagine David Moyes taking the decision to rest Welbeck at this point, fitness permitting.