With Ryan Giggs in as manager, United romped to a 4-0 win over relegation candidates Norwich City.
The feel good factor at Old Trafford was almost palpable
Emerging on to the pitch, the United players would have drunk in the positive atmosphere after a series of difficult games under Moyes. It may only be Norwich, but the side played with the verve, pace and attacking intent Giggs had said he was going to encourage. The second half in particular was impressive, as wave after wave assaulted the Norwich goal. The 4-0 victory was the biggest home win all season, and a clean sheet to boot. Easy this management lark eh Ryan?
Giggs looked nervous
Not quite so easy if you looked at the Welshman as he walked the Old Trafford touchline for the first time as manager. He looked understandably emotional, struggling to keep it hidden just how much such a moment meant to him. Like a schoolboy taking control of a classroom, he shared some jokes with Scholes and Butt as he took his place on the bench, and all in all looked a little nervous with the whole occasion. The fans sang "Ryan Giggs' barmy army" as he clapped them off the pitch following the result, and very much winnable fixtures may make it an easy spell in charge for the United legend. He would have to take into account the tougher side of management if he was to be hired permanently.
Telling that the Moyes signings were dropped from the team
Giggs had made some subtle signs of a change away from Moyes' way of doing things in the lead up to the match, but by benching Mata and dropping Fellaini entirely from the match day squad he indicated that he felt the Scot had been making some serious errors in selection. As it turned out, Mata would come on to give an outstanding cameo show, ensuring his value to this side. The same cannot be said of Fellaini, who must wonder where his future lies after Giggs' snub.
It was good to see Danny Welbeck start upfront
Welbeck had been making noises about wanting to play as a central striker, if you believe what is in the papers. Giggs responded by starting him in a front two alongside Rooney, and it was positive to see both players interlinking and offering an attacking threat as a duo as well as independently. Welbeck himself won the penalty that led to United's opener, and may reconsider any intention he had about leaving the club.
Mata and Rooney showed their best interplay yet
Several people had commented on whether Juan Mata and Wayne Rooney could operate in the same United team, especially if Rooney was dropping deep from his forward position. When Giggs brought the Spaniard on, United were already two nil to the good, and few expected the former Chelsea man to make much of an impression. As it turned out, Mata had his best game for a side released from it's shackles, and displayed several moments where he and Rooney hinted at an outstanding partnership. Pushing forward into the space Rooney had just vacated, Mata netted his first goal following a Phil Jones cross, and followed that up with a late second to complete his brace, following up on Rooney's saved strike from range.