SWANSEA, England – Manchester United manager David Moyes praised both Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney after his first Premier League match in charge of the English champions ended in a 4-1 win at Swansea.
Van Persie and Danny Welbeck scored two goals apiece at the Liberty Stadium while Rooney, repeatedly linked with a move to Chelsea after falling behind Dutch striker van Persie in the Old Trafford pecking order during Alex Ferguson’s final season in charge, came off the bench in the second half.
Wilfried Bony snatched an 82nd minute consolation goal for Swansea on a day when van Persie confirmed his status as the Premier League’s leading marksman.
“The biggest thing for me is that Robin has been a pleasure to work with,” said Moyes.
“He is really keen to work to improve and get better — you may wonder how he can get better.
“His two goals were terrific, the athleticism he showed for the first and the power for the second.”
Moyes, who oversaw the start of Rooney’s professional career in his previous role as Everton manager, added: “Wayne did well when he came on and made a great run for the one goal and a great pass for the second. He helped the team and played a part getting the result.”
Rooney received a standing ovation from United’s travelling fans when he came on to replace club great Ryan Giggs.
“The supporters recognise good players and they recognised that when Wayne came on,” said Moyes.
“He’s got quite a bad kick down the back of his Achilles and he is still lacking match practice. He played well for the team and he helped set up two goals.
“Wayne has worked very hard when he has been fit. You cross that white line and enjoy your football and I thought he did that today.”
Although Swansea had dominated much of the game in terms of possession, United struck twice to send Moyes in with a smile at half-time.
Van Persie controlled Giggs’s lobbed pass after 34 minutes before beating compatriot Michel Vorm from a dozen yards and then, two minutes later, Welbeck turned in Antonio Valencia’s cross.
Van Persie added his second goal — a stunning strike from 20 yards — after 72 minutes.
Although Swansea’s £12 million ($19 million) striker Bony came off the bench to snatch a consolation, eight minutes from time, Rooney’s through ball in stoppage time enabled Welbeck to lob Vorm for his second goal.
“I think like any manager, to win the game there is always an element of relief,” added Moyes. “I thought we were incisive, our finishing was fantastic.
“We could play better at times but overall it was a brilliant team performance against a Swansea team who will do well.”
Swansea manager Michael Laudrup said: “The big players play in the big teams and the two goals from van Persie were world-class.
“The one difference today was the finishing and the fact they scored two goals in less than two minutes,” added Laudrup, himself once a world-class player.
“We could have come back from one goal down, but two was such a huge blow. You can’t give a team like United a two-goal start.”