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:
David Moyes, in his matchday programme notes, writes: "It's important we stamp our authority on games here at Old Trafford." #mufc— Manchester United (@ManUtd) March 29, 2014
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:
A beaming smile on Moyes' face as he comes out for his press conference.— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) March 29, 2014
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.
"Bayern? Bring the challenge on. Old Trafford is not an easy place to come to." David Moyes— Football Funnys (@FootballFunnys) March 29, 2014
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:
Moyes: "I just wanted to show everyone I was manager of the club and where I am (by walking out to pitch early) #mufc 👍— Palash agrawal (@drpalashagrawal) March 29, 2014
“The money [used for the plane] would have been better served for Darren Fletcher’s charity.” — David Moyes no... http://t.co/vUZVXxdBcV— Side Foot Finish (@SideFootFinish) March 29, 2014
In another positive sign for United fans, the manager confirmed after the game that transfer talks with potential targets were progressing well:
Moyes "The players I've already spoken to seem really keen to join Manchester United so hopefully they'll come in the summer"— Sir Alex Stand (@SirAlexStand) March 29, 2014
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:
Paul Lambert: "It was never a three-goal swing. I can't be too critical of Christian (Benteke, about misses). He has scored some vital goals— ian herbert (@ianherbs) March 29, 2014
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.