For the first time this season, Louis Van Gaal seemed completely satisfied after Manchester United cruised to a 3-0 victory against Hull.
Van Gaal felt that his side dominated from the first minute to the last, something they had failed to do until Saturday.
Much was made about United’s win against Arsenal being a turning point but was this performance the first time the Premier League had witnessed Van Gaal’s famous philosophy truly in action?
United played with a fluidity that has been missing for over a year. Van Gaal has been known to deploy his teams to keep the ball, pass it quickly and with intent. 76% possession along with a 91% pass completion rate prove that United really did control the game for its entirety.
The goals from Smalling, Rooney and Van Persie were all results of mistakes by Hull but the important thing is United took their chances when they were presented.
Perhaps more importantly, the makeshift defence seemed at ease. With two wingers in the full back positions, David de Gea’s defence looked far from solid on paper but they rarely put a food wrong. Marcos Rojo impressed on his return and Chris Smalling is starting to establish himself as a first team regular.
The most impressive display of the game came from United’s summer signing Ander Herrera. The Spaniard seemed to make United tick. After coming on for the injured Di Maria, Herrera dictated the play and allowed the Reds to play some sexy football.
It was definitely a sign of Van Gaal’s philosophy starting to click with the players. It should be kept in perspective, however, as the first half was possibly the easiest they will face all season but Di Maria’s hamstring injury was another blotch on an otherwise satisfactory day for the United.
Tonight’s visit of Stoke to Old Trafford will be another huge chance for Van Gaal’s men to put on a show and entertain the home faithful.
Another performance like the one we saw at the weekend could mean that United, as a club, have finally started to adopt the Dutch style of total football.