A new-look Manchester United recorded their first competitive win under Louis van Gaal with a comprehensive 4-0 thrashing of QPR on Sunday.
Marcos Rojo and Daley Blind were handed starting berths by Van Gaal, while Radamel Falcao, who moved to Old Trafford on a season-long loan from Monaco on transfer deadline day, also made his debut as a second-half substitute.
However, the show was stolen by another new recruit as Angel di Maria delivered a wonderful display on his maiden home outing for United.
Di Maria opened the scoring with his first goal in a United shirt midway through the opening half before playing a part as Ander Herrera and Wayne Rooney made the points safe before half-time.
Rooney’s strike made him the joint-third top-scorer in Premier League history with 175 goals, and United, using a back four for the first time in the Premier League this season, pulled further clear when the excellent Di Maria set up Juan Mata for a fourth after 58 minutes.
Falcao’s arrival in the 67th minute did not prompt the final flurry that United fans would have perhaps wanted, but there is now likely to be a renewed belief that the club can challenge at the top of the table following last season’s disappointing seventh-place finish.
United, whose emphatic triumph ensured QPR defender Rio Ferdinand endured a miserable return to his former club, made a fast start to proceedings and threatened in the seventh minute when Mata shot well over the crossbar from the edge of the area.