Swansea 1 Manchester United 4 match report: Flying Dutchman Robin van Persie sets David Moyes on fast track to glory

Two goals from RVP and Danny Welbeck's double lift new manager as Wayne Rooney returns to the fold

the liberty stadium

There was a new anthem – “So come on David Moyes, play like Fergie's boys” – revealing that Manchester United are happy to call on Noddy Holder when they need to – and you imagine that some messages daubed in red on bedsheets will follow in time. Moyes willingly agreed to “give us a wave” and it was his own “red and white army” they sang about by the end.

There was no real sense United are on the precipice of something new and exciting. No new players, no new team and Moyes will certainly have taken the quiet walk to victory because he wants it that way. He's become a bit embarrassed by all the noise.

Whether the Wayne Rooney noise was a little closer to abating remained hard to tell. There was a poignancy about the way Moyes sent him on for Ryan Giggs as the hour mark had passed and assigned him the place behind the striker which his No 10 jersey carries, with Danny Welbeck pushed aside to make way. None of the central midfield marginalisation of the Ferguson era.

There were also unambiguous chants of "Rooney", revealing what has always been suspected: that the supporters will respect him. There was also a reminder of what all the fuss was about when he laid through the ball which the imperious Robin van Persie thumped home, drawing two defenders away to create the space. He also sent Welbeck in to lift in the fourth goal which made these beginnings so emphatic for Moyes. And yet... Rooney was conspicuous by his absence amid the celebrations of the second goal – United's third – by Van Persie.

In the first public discussion of his fitness, the 27-year-old has made no attempt to add to the agitation to leave which he has allowed others to make for him this summer. "I haven't had that many training sessions with the first team because they have been away," he said.

"I might be lacking that bit of sharpness but hopefully that will come. I need to try and get a few more games in. Hopefully in the next few weeks I will be playing, [getting] those games in."

Moyes said of Rooney that it is "very difficult when you cross the white line not to be committed because people are judging you" and that Rooney's had contributed strongly to the team effort. "The supporters recognise good players at United," he said.

It's hard to be sunny, perhaps, when the rain is sheeting in from Swansea Bay but Rooney's body language in the warm-up suggested that Moyes has a job to do – even though the player's competitive soul made him argue the toss with Anderson about which of them should take the bib and go into the circle.

It was United who then looked the more sluggish as Swansea set the pace and found a way to knock the ball around in a rainstorm. After the summer of talk about £40m strikers, Michu's £2m price looked as ridiculous as ever. He almost turned a weak Phil Jones back pass into a calamity – David de Gea cannoned his clearance into the Spaniard – and was soon forcing De Gea to palm around the post and soaring to deposit his head onto the ensuing corner.

Michael Laudrup's £5m spend on Jonjo Shelvey looked equally smart as the home side threatened around the edge of the area. Ivorian Wilfried Bony will score goals too. His first was despatched well, with a first-time finish.

But then United did what the song had asked: score goals when they look indifferently second best.

Two strikes in two minutes after the half-hour effectively put the game away. Ryan Giggs, who had just spurned two chances, lifted the ball high over the Swansea defence to locate Van Persie in a pocket of space, with the technical acumen to lever in the high bouncing ball, right footed. Two clinched fists from Moyes displayed the relief and he was punching the air when a cross from the left reached Antonio Valencia who slid it back across the area for Welbeck to tap in. "If I had to say one difference today it was the finishing and the fact they scored two goals in less than two minutes," Laudrup lamented.

It was a stroll, thereafter. It was with 20 minutes to play that Van Persie stepped inside Ashley Williams and blasted home the left-footed finish which suggested that not that much has changed for the champions. Pablo Hernandez seized on carelessness from Welbeck, anticipating the Englishman's backheel and picking out Bony who steered home. But Welbeck atoned to finished things, in a fashion befitting one of Fergie's boys.

Swansea (4-2-5-1): Vorm; Rangel, Flores, Williams, Davies; Canas (Ki Sung-Yeung, 77), Britton (Bony, 46); Dyer, Shelvey, Routledge (Pablo, 46); Michu.

Manchester Utd (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Jones, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Carrick, Cleverley; Valencia, Welbeck, Giggs (Rooney, 62); Van Persie (Anderson, 86).

Referee Phil Dowd.

Man of the match Van Persie (United)

Match rating 7/10.

Arts and Entertainment
books
Voices
Caustic she may be, but Joan Rivers is a feminist hero, whether she likes it or not
voicesShe's an inspiration, whether she likes it or not, says Ellen E Jones
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Sport
Diego Costa
footballEverton 3 Chelsea 6: Diego Costa double has manager purring
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
techSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
Arts and Entertainment
The 'three chords and the truth gal' performing at the Cornbury Music Festival, Oxford, earlier this summer
music... so how did she become country music's hottest new star?
Life and Style
The spy mistress-general: A lecturer in nutritional therapy in her modern life, Heather Rosa favours a Byzantine look topped off with a squid and a schooner
fashionEurope's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln
News
Dr Alice Roberts in front of a
peopleAlice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Star turns: Montacute House
tv
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Arts and Entertainment
Unsettling perspective: Iraq gave Turner a subject and a voice (stock photo)
booksBrian Turner's new book goes back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
News
The Digicub app, for young fans
advertisingNSPCC 'extremely concerned'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Some of the key words and phrases to remember
booksA user's guide to weasel words
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution