The triangle involving Anthony Martial, Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard which led to Manchester United's third goal was as brilliant as it was devastating.
But it was more than just a goal. It showed the shackles were off this under-performing side at last.
No more sitting back waiting to hit teams on the counter-attack. No more parking the bus.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said he wanted to get his United players smiling again, playing with the freedom to express themselves. And how they did.
He's only had three days to work with then but already the players are showing signs they are happy again.
And this stunning third goal, finished off by Martial was a sign of how different United are already – less than a week after Mourinho was sacked.
Just three minutes earlier, with United cruising two goals up, Cardiff were gifted a way back into the game by a needless handball by Marcus Rashford.
Suddenly the stadium was rocking, Neil Warnock's team fancied their chances and Solskjaer was facing the first worrying moment of his reign.
United have been so abject in recent weeks the danger was there they would shrink into their shells and revert back to basics. No risks. That was what had been drilled into them so much by their previous boss.
Yet here they were having none of it. Instead, they just shrugged off the knock of conceding and decided to take matters into their own hands.
Two-goal lead restored, the sniff of a chance for the Bluebirds buried within three minutes. Thank you very much, we're Manchester United don't you know.
There were four changes to the side which started that fateful match at Anfield last week which proved the final throw of the dice for Mourinho.
On that day his team hardly laid a glove on Liverpool, so restrained were they by the tactical demands placed on them by the man in charge.
But they started here like a train, pushed on by Paul Pogba and Rashford.
Pogba, such a controversial figure for the past year, owes United and the fans. Whatever his relationship with Jose, the Frenchman hasn't done enough for the club.
But his reception from the wonderful travelling supporters in the warm up showed they hold no grudges, no matter what ill-conceived social media posts he makes.
He was at it from the off, showing for the ball, organising and yes, even staying within the tactical shape Solskjaer had devised.
But he was also looking to surge forward with every opportunity, and it was just such a run which drew the free-kick from which Rashford opened the scoring after just 181 seconds.
The England striker has cut a frustrated figure for much of the past year at club level, but the confidence was there for all to see after his dipping 20-yard strike had nestled into the net.
Every time a United defender or midfielder look for an option, Rashford was offering himself – short, long, out wide. He was everywhere and Cardiff couldn't cope.
It makes such a difference to a side being on the front foot, players find themselves ten yards further forward and able to make a difference going forward – just ask Ander Herrera.
The Spaniard has hardly got into the final third of late, but here he was collecting a lovely switch of play from Pogba and thundering a deflected effort into the top corner.
Only David De Gea failed to join the mob of the United players celebrating right in front of the Cardiff fans. They were enjoying themselves, alright.
"Attack, attack, attack", United fans have cried this season, trying to ignite a spark in the squad. They didn't need to shout the odds here, though. The players needed no second invitation.
When Lingard made it four from the spot before the hour mark, it was carnival time for the fans who constantly sang Solskjaer's name throughout the match.
Out came the flicks, a no-look passes and both Rashford and Pogba deserved add to the goal tally in the second half.
Rashford had done enough by the time he was given a breather by his manager for the last 11 minutes, with forgotten man Fred being thrown into the fray.
How the England striker had enjoyed themselves. So too Pogba. Football has become fun again for a club mired in misery for too long.
Three passes, four goals and "Fiiiive Cantonas".
Farewell Jose, and your negative ways. Ole, Ole Ole – fun, fun, fun.
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