Belfast Telegraph

The verdict: Manchester United reignite Old Trafford, but QPR were dire

By Steven Beacom

The Manchester United fans cheered when the final whistle blew. What a difference to the jeers from the home fans or stunned silence greeting the end of numerous matches at the Theatre of the Dreams since a certain Scottish knight of the realm decided to move upstairs.

Yesterday was just like old times at Old Trafford as the Red Devils brushed aside the opposition with a commanding display to cruise to a comfortable victory.

It was United's first win of a season that was threatening to be even worse than last term's nightmare under David Moyes.

It was also the first win for Louis Van Gaal as boss.

It won't be his last, but before United fans start getting carried away, their 4-0 success was against a dismal QPR side.

Playing as they did yesterday, Harry Redknapp's side would not have troubled Maguiresbridge let alone Manchester United.

QPR were awful, lacking direction, ambition and any notion of attacking intent. Defensively they weren't up to much either.

Rio Ferdinand received a respectful reception from the United faithful as he returned to his old stomping ground and prior to kick-off the 35-year-old was handed a special memento from Sir Bobby Charlton marking his 12 years of service.

He had hoped to show everyone he could still deliver on the big stage. All he showed was that he's now as dodgy a defender as his brother Anton!

In contrast Northern Ireland's Jonny Evans cut a composed figure in United's back four. True, he didn't have a great deal to do, but his display yesterday was a whole lot better than his shocker a few weeks ago in the League Cup against MK Dons when United lost 4-0!

It should be noted Rio wasn't the only QPR player to look out of his depth. All of Redknapp's players disappointed, including goalkeeper Rob Green.

Always good for one major mistake per game, he didn't disappoint on 24 minutes failing to judge the flight of the ball from a dangerous free-kick, whipped in by the impressive Angel Di Maria, which ended up in the net.

You could have taken everyone off there and then. With QPR so limited, the game was won by United.

The only question left was how many more they would score.

Answer: Three, thanks to well taken goals from Ander Herrera and Wayne Rooney before the break and Juan Mata after it.

Had United really put the foot down they could have netted a few more, but after all the woe of the past year and a bit, there was a sense that they were just happy with what they had.

Radamel Falcao, United's big transfer deadline day loan signing, entered the fray with a third of the game left and truth be told, despite his well earned superstar reputation, hardly did a thing.

What was interesting though was Van Gaal playing Falcao and Robin van Persie as his two frontline strikers in that period with Rooney operating behind.

A sign of things to come.

Will comprehensive victories for United under Van Gaal also become the norm?

Time will tell, but, after all that had gone before, yesterday's result was a big boost to the club.

They should kick on from this, though upcoming opponents certainly won't be as limp as QPR.

Belfast Telegraph

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