Premier League: Angel delight as Di Maria stars to trigger United’s renaissance

Ross McLean
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Angel di Maria, Ander Herrera and Wayne Rooney all scored as United brushed aside QPR

MANCHESTER United boss Louis van Gaal insists the blue touch paper has finally been lit at Old Trafford after his rejuvenated side clinically dispatched QPR yesterday to secure the Dutch tactician’s first win since taking the managerial reins.

Record signing Angel di Maria and Ander Herrera both netted their first United goals as skipper Wayne Rooney added a third before break while Juan Mata rounded off the goalscoring rout in the second period.

And while still demanding improvement, Van Gaal firmly believes a corner has been turned and United have gone some way to shrugging off their sluggish start to the campaign, with Colombia’s Radamel Falcao adding to the sense of renaissance with a second-half cameo.

“I said before the game let’s make a new start and this was a very good start,” said Van Gaal. “We have always to analyse what we have done and as a coach there are always points you want to improve. The result was fantastic but we can get much better.”

New-look United opened the scoring in the 24th minute as Di Maria’s free-kick from 40 yards caused uncertainty in the QPR defence, evading all in the penalty area and dipping wickedly beyond QPR keeper Rob Green.

United doubled their lead nine minutes before the break as Di Maria’s surging run from deep allowed Rooney to link with Herrera, as the 25-year-old’s drilled effort from 18 yards found the bottom corner.

England captain Rooney capped United’s impressive first-half moments before the interval, collecting a pass from Herrera before crisply driving home from just inside the box.

QPR’s torment continued in the second half with Mata collecting a low cross Di Maria and popping a left-footed shot high past Green on 58 minutes.