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5 Things We Learned From Manchester United’s Win Over Swansea

1. Manchester United can cope without Rooney

If, as reported,Wayne Rooney has accepted that he will not be allowed to leave the club, the fact that United strolled to victory without him registering a goal will not make him feel much better. The striker did, in fairness, produce the pass which put Danny Welbeck through for his second goal but his body language, and the much hyped photo of his reluctance to celebrate with his teammates, suggest he will accept his fate begrudgingly.

2. Danny Welbeck is a different prospect this season

One player who may, privately at least, be glad to see the back of Rooney is Danny Welbeck. Despite his excellent linkup play and sharp passing last season, a total of 1 league goal was a poor return. (Visit Soccerbase.com for more player statistics) But against Swansea Welbeck showed the two key instincts of any successful goalscorer. For his first he drove hard into the six yard box for a poacher’s finish and for the second, he produced a deft and assured chip. Doubling his total last season from the very first game should give the 22-year-old the confidence to take his game to the next level and prove to David Moyes that Robin Van Persie isn’t the only striker who can hit the net with regularity.

3. Robin van Persie is picking up from where he left off

Back in July, van Persie said he “loved” David Moyes training sessions and has been extremely vocal about the new manager’s qualities and ambition. The confidence he apparently has in Moyes translated onto the pitch in the 34th minute at the Liberty Stadium when the striker out-stretched Ashley Williams to volley past Michel Vorm. The second, almost casual in its brutality, nearly broke the Swansea goalkeeper’s net after he used the run of Wayne Rooney as a decoy. United relied heavily on Van Persie last season and on this evidence, he’s on the mark for another 20-goal season.

4. Tom Cleverley is still a work in progress

At the risk of sounding rather picky, despite heading into half time two-nil up, United’s passing was scrappy in the first half. This was exemplified by Tom Cleverley, who’s hit-and-miss passing culminated in a booking for scything through Angel Rangel after he gave the ball away. Notably there was no place in the starting lineup for Shinji Kagawa, who Moyes, at this point at least, clearly does not see as his first choice.

5. A seamless transition under Moyes is a possibility

By insisting he was confident with the team he had, that he had only been in the job since July 1 and therefore had had little time to make signings and that he would need two years to get United playing as a unit under him, it sounded a little like Moyes was lowering expectations and getting his excuses in early. But style wise, there appears to have been little deviation from how the team played under Sir Alex Ferguson and after a stuttering start against Wigan in the Community Shield, a 4-1 win away from home on the first day shows that the players have bought into the manager’s system for now.