After months of uncertainty, you can almost feel the growing excitement of the Manchester United faithful as they watch a Louis Van Gaal team dismantle the current World Champions piece by piece. Following on from the dour performances under the much maligned David Moyes, watching a reborn Robin van Persie play with the swagger that eluded him for large parts of last season does offer a huge boost to the fortunes of next season.
Van Gaal set his team out to battle and frustrate, only further highlighting what many people thought was an aging and beatable Spanish team. The pace and movement of the Dutch was at times a joy to watch and finally breathed life into what has (in this writer’s opinion) not been the best start to a World Cup. Does this mean that Van Gaal will be able to wave his magic wand and clear the dark cloud hanging over the Old Trafford club?
On the performance of the Netherlands this evening and the size of the smile of Van Persie’s face, it would certainly seem so. Even in the face of adversity in the form of Diego 'bad milk' Costa and his inability to keep his forehead to himself, the men from Holland stuck to their task and took their chances well. A stark contrast from the bullying tactics on display in the final of 2010, Van Gaal has instilled discipline and confidence that has not spilled over into arrogance. If he can get the same results from Rooney and co as well as bring in the right figures, then we could be looking at a quicker than expected rise back to prominence from the red half of Manchester.
Moment of the this evening's match? Well apart from a handful of wonderful goals to choose from it had to be Bruno Martins Indi looking dumbfounded as the referee casually magic sprayed over his brand new boots. How dare he!