...and they did. David Moyes can afford to smile a little after his United side got noticeably stronger over 90 minutes. That's not happened enough times this season...
As long as there is both football and human weakness, there will be allegations of match-fixing. But a decent start would be an independent, national body...
Names. Big ones. That's what the summer transfer window is all about. Names and uncertainty.
Thousands of wasted words written on Luis Suarez, Wayne Rooney and Gareth Bale. Rumour mills. Quotes from Edinson Cavani's mama and papa. Spellchecking Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Names sell papers and names drive website clicks.
The complaints don't hold up. We bemoan Bale, sob at Suarez and rage over Rooney and yet still we have to find out what is happening to the names. What are those bloody names saying now? Nothing? Ah, of course. They must be staying/leaving/not half as interesting as we give them credit for.
Sometimes the names turn up for work, sometimes they feel two emotions at the same time (usually confusion but possibly anger or frustration as well). Names are our guilty pleasure and there is nothing wrong with that - the ubiquity is the problem. Surely there is room for a broader focus instead of another non-story about a name?
'Andre Villas-Boas is refusing to discuss Gareth Bale's future.' Fascinating.
There is another way. Quotes drive the media agenda and the best place to get your hands on these juicy love nuts is at press conferences. So perhaps, instead of asking about Bale or Suarez or Rooney or whoever, journalists could devise a more inventive line of questioning.
'In the media suite after the game he (David Moyes) realised he would be given precious little time to dwell on the comfortable 2-0 victory,' wrote Neil Ashton in his Daily Mail column this week.
'The first question was about the win. The second was about Cesc Fabregas. The third, an innocuous question about United's midfield, was enough to irritate Moyes. Then the fourth - the Rooney question - was enough to make him snap.'
Ashton believes, incorrectly, that Moyes's impatient reaction says more about him than those posing the questions. But is it really a surprise that the manager 'snapped' when he has faced the same tedious interrogation all summer?
A first trophy in Moyes's first official match at Manchester United. There was enormous scope for questioning. Giggs was superb; will he continue to play a key role even though he turns 40 in November? Has Wilfried Zaha overtaken Nani, Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia in the fight for a first-team spot? Why was Shinji Kagawa left on the bench when it looked like he might be afforded more playing time by Rooney's predicament? Do you intend to continue playing Danny Welbeck as a central support striker this season, a position he occupied only a handful of times last year?
It's not only with Moyes where this lack of investigative desire results in the same banal discussion, occasionally prompting an 'outburst'. At Arsenal, journalists are focused entirely on Arsene Wenger's lack of signings but, when the manager says he is happy with his squad, why not then ask him how he intends to bridge the 16-point gap to first? Make Wenger accountable for his belief that Arsenal can win the Premier League. Will he persist with Olivier Giroud as the leading centre-forward or are there plans to give Theo Walcott and Lukas Podolski more time in the middle? Will Jack Wilshere have a more defined role this term after he struggled in last season's run-in?
Jose Mourinho's return to Chelsea was another nail in the coffin of insightful reporting. The manager's first press conference was dominated by fawning and ego, as we expected. There were no bullets for Mourinho to dodge, it was merely a cosy chit-chat and a few jokes about whether he's still 'special'. It turns out he's now The Happy One. Thanks for that.
This isn't to say that all journalists are the same and many prod and probe only for managers to stonewall their enquiries. But it is frustrating as a fan, or a writer on a football website who doesn't attend press conferences, to be fed the same names day in, day out without end.
When Manuel Pellegrini arrived at Manchester City, he seemed incredibly keen to talk about shapes and systems - offering the blueprint to how City will win the league this season - and yet talk of quick transitions and attacking intent has swiftly dried up. Do you think you have the best strikers, Manuel? Yes, I suppose so. And do you plan to sign anyone else? Well, maybe a defender.
In the prologue to 'Inverting The Pyramid', Jonathan Wilson recalls a conversation with an Argentinean journalist in which she remarked that in football 'the formation is the only thing that's important. It's not worth writing about anything else'. In England, 'tactics' still seems to be a dirty word, an afterthought, an inconvenience to the discussion of names and price tags. Sometimes the names don't always impress - Juan Sebastian Veron or Andriy Shevchenko, for example - because of a manager's failure to accommodate them, or other reasons, but still they hold all the power in our football discourse.
"He is a f**king great player" said Sir Alex Ferguson when Veron was close to his departure. "And you're all f**king idiots." In a way, he may have had a point.
"In 20 minutes here I have been asked more tactical questions then in an entire year in England," said Rafael Benitez at his Napoli unveiling. This isn't a badge of honour for the English press, it's a stain, an embarrassment, a slight on the intellectual furtherance of our football knowledge and how the game is perceived on these shores.
Perhaps the public demand for names is as strong as we are led to believe, but this summer the boredom has shared the consistency of the headlines. We have all had our fill of the names, now let's talk about something else.
Matt Stanger - he's on the Twitter.