As Manchester United fans delighted in an exuberant attacking display against Queens Park Rangers inspired by Angel Di Maria they would have been equally happy to watch an outstanding debut performance by Daley Blind.
The versatile Dutchman played a disciplined midfield holding role, protecting his defenders and seamlessly controlling possession with clever movement and a stream of accurate short passes.
Blind's industry and calming influence provided a solid platform from which to unleash the flair of Di Maria, Juan Mata and Wayne Rooney as United powered to an emphatic 4-0 win in the autumn sunshine at Old Trafford.
"He is a player who can see situations in advance," United manager Louis van Gaal told Manchester United television.
"He can always pass to the free player and when he doesn't have the ball, he knows when he has to press the opponent. That's a very good ability to have.
"I like him as a defensive midfielder, but he can also play in central defence or at left full back. He can run for 90 minutes too and is always fit. That's another very good quality for a player."
QPR were, admittedly, weak opposition and far tougher tests lie ahead but Van Gaal was a happy man after overseeing his team's first win of the season.
"When you have a result of 4-0, then you can be happy as a coach, but you always have points you can improve," he told reporters.
"We have always to analyse what we have done. The result is fantastic but we can get much better.
"I said 'let's make a new start today'."
Manchester United 4 QPR 0 player ratings
Manchester United 4 QPR 0 player ratings
1/22 David de Gea
Was found wanting in the first half after very nearly being caught out by Matty Phillips. Did well to save from Armand Traore in the second period, however. 7
Posed a considerable threat throughout the match down the right flank and broke effectively. A good outlet for United. 7
3/22 Marcos Rojo
Slotted into the Manchester United backline with ease. Looked decent with the ball at his feet and showed a willingness to get forward. 7
4/22 Tyler Blackett
Perhaps a misfit on a teamsheet of Galacticos, the young defender didn't look out of place in Louis van Gaal's side. 7
5/22 Jonny Evans
Needed to be alert to a QPR counter attack in the first half but had precious little to do. 7
6/22 Angel Di Maria
Showed the ambition and ability to really trouble a poor QPR side at Old Trafford. His goal had an element of luck about it but his quality is undeniable. A man of the match display. 9
7/22 Daley Blind
Cut a composed figure at the heart of Manchester United's midfield and showed the Red Devils supporters exactly what they've been missing of late. 8
8/22 Ander Herrera
Took his goal really well and linked Manchester United's defensive midfielders up with the more attacking players brilliantly. 8
9/22 Wayne Rooney
Seems more mature with the captain's armband on. The England man put in another decent shift and grabbed himself an impressive goal too. 7
10/22 Robin van Persie
While the Dutchman always poses a considerable threat, he looks out of sorts at the moment. 6
11/22 Bets of the bench: Radamel Falcao
Didn't have long to make his mark but showed enough drive to enthuse the Old Trafford regulars. 7
12/22 Rob Green
Any goalkeeper who concedes four goals isn't going to score too highly. Made a number of decent saves which keeps his score respectable. 5
13/22 Mauricio Isla
Was brought to the club to give QPR a threat down the flank but continues to struggle in English football. 5
14/22 Steven Caulker
While the former Cardiff City man didn't do a great deal wrong, he went missing for large periods. 5
15/22 Rio Ferdinand
Would have had dreams last night of scoring the winner against his old club but was easily overrun by the new United talent. 5
16/22 Clint Hill
Taken off at half-time, his deflection took Angel di Maria's cross into his own net. A poor afternoon. 5
17/22 Junior Hoilett
Made little impact on the game but shouldn't let it get him down. These aren't the games which count for Rangers. 5
18/22 Niko Kranjcar
Showed glimpses of class but, like many of his team-mates, he failed to make his mark. 5
Didn't look match-fit at times and subsequently delivered a lukewarm performance on his debut. 5
20/22 Leroy Fer
Returned to the Premier League with QPR after relegation with Norwich City. Did little to suggest he will avoid that fate again. 5
21/22 Charlie Austin
A dangerous player at QPR's disposal but was left isolated for large periods. 6
22/22 Matty Phillips
Was bitterly unlucky not to score in the first half after David de Gea's error but it wasn't to be. 6
It certainly felt like a new start after months of misery for United who enjoyed a trophy-laden 20-year spell under Alex Ferguson's management before last season's dismal seventh-place finish with David Moyes at the helm.
Di Maria opened the scoring with a free kick from out wide, Rooney teed up Ander Herrera for his first United goal and the England forward's crisp shot put United 3-0 up at halftime.
Mata added a fourth before Old Trafford rose to acclaim the introduction of substitute Radamel Falcao for another much- anticipated debut.
The Colombian striker showed his predatory instincts when he latched on to a rebound after Blind's powerful shot was parried by Rob Green but his effort was well saved by the goalkeeper.
"My teams are always focused on attack, but it is not our focus - that is to be in the first three," Van Gaal said.
"The most important thing is the trajectory."
After the misery of Moyes's reign, United fans will relish their manager's confidence.
The victory over QPR lifted United into the top half of the table after four matches and the next two games are away to Leicester City and home to West Ham United.
If Van Gaal can maintain his team's upward trajectory, they will be in good shape for the much harder challenges that lie ahead.
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