The mood of gloom enveloping Old Trafford was quick to lift after a first win of the season.
To most people, Manchester United’s crushing of Queens Park Rangers was a routine win over a newly promoted team. But to a new manager without a success in his first four matches, this victory meant so much more.
Possibly too much more, judging by Louis Van Gaal’s remarks after Sunday’s 4-0 victory.
“I want to win the Premier League title,” he boldly declared.
“If it is not this year, then the second or third year. I want to give a championship to the fans.”
Van Gaal, who won domestic titles in his first seasons in charge of both Barcelona and Bayern Munich, has been set a target of a top-three finish by chief executive Ed Woodward.
Despite being seven points behind the leaders, Chelsea, Van Gaal has not ruled out a title charge this season.
“I have played always attack, I believe, and all my teams have scored the most of the league,” he said. “So I hope at the end of this league we shall score also the most. The purpose is to be in the first three because we have to qualify ourselves in the Champions League but that is not the most important thing. The most important thing is trajectory.
After scoring only twice in their first four games under Van Gaal, Manchester United looked a different proposition against QPR.
Sunday’s victory featured Angel Di Maria and Ander Herrera’s first goals for the club, while Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata were also on the scoresheet.
“When you have a result of 4-0, then you can be happy as a coach, but you always have points you can improve,” Van Gaal said.
“We have always to analyse what we have done. The result is fantastic but we can get much better.
“As of September 1 we were only together for two or three days before the game, now the internationals are coming back. I said let’s make a new start. All the new players are playing.”
On Di Maria, who was involved in three of the four goals, Van Gaal added: “When you prepare three goals and make the first goal by yourself then you cannot play bad, but he had a lot of unnecessary losses so we can do better.”