Manchester United's David Moyes set his stall out before the game had even started, confidently walking to his dugout on his own and getting an Old Trafford standing ovation into the bargain.
It was the perfect way to answer his critics.
And the chorus of boos that met the arrival of the plane protest as it hovered over the ground told it's own story.
The manager had written in his programme notes:
A decent team performance and a 4-1 scoreline against an Aston Villa side that set the early pace, will have satisfied the manager no end.
As he strode purposefully into the press conference after the game, Miguel Delaney noted his mood:
Better teams than Villa will come to Old Trafford, of course, perhaps the best in the world is next to arrive. However, it holds no fears for the Scot after this performance.
It was put to him that it was quite unusual for a manager to stride out on his own before the game but the message was clear from Moyes, both to those in the stadium and those who had wasted their hard-earned money on the plane protest:
In another positive sign for United fans, the manager confirmed after the game that transfer talks with potential targets were progressing well:
Villa's Paul Lambert was far from downcast himself, but he didn't think that they were three goals worse than their hosts, according to the Independent's Ian Herbert:
And in fact, the manager didn't feel that a result was beyond them.
Per the official Aston Villa website, Lambert concluded:
You keep going for the team above you.
We're in a decent position but we need to get another couple of wins or so.
I don't set a points target because if you do and you don't hit it, it becomes disappointing.
The win keeps the Red Devils comfortably in seventh place but Lambert's Villa team are exposed. If results go against the Villains, a drop of two places isn't beyond the realms of possibility.
With little to play for, it could be a chance for the manager to blood some youngsters to shake up a team that has been lacklustre for much of this season.
Moyes meanwhile will welcome Bayern Munich to Old Trafford with a renewed sense of purpose and urgency, in the hope of producing one of the great European nights in Manchester.
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