It’s not often a newly-appointed manager goes three points clear at the top of the table after his first league match in charge.
However, that’s exactly what happened to Csaba Laszlo.
Before any statto gets the record books dusted off or the web surfed, no doubt there will be somebody somewhere who found themselves in such an enviable position before the Dundee United boss.
Laszlo must still have been counting his blessings as the confident, composed and clinical Tangerines brushed Falkirk aside in this Championship clash Tannadice.
Now all the Hungarian has to do is make them play like this every week!
United took the lead on 21 minutes when striker Scott McDonald scooped the ball into the net and their dominance was rewarded with a second five minutes from the break via Jamie Robson’s low shot.
They capped an excellent first-half display just seconds before the whistle when Willo Flood broke clear up the right then battered the ball past keeper Robbie Thomson.
They totally controlled the second half as well but couldn’t get another goal.
The Tangerines had made just the one change to the side that won so well against St Mirren.
As expected, a fit-again Fraser Fyvie started after coming off the bench against the Buddies, with Matty Smith named as a substitute.
The game exploded to life in the third minutes when a great crossfield pass from Mark Durnan was controlled by Billy King out on the left wing. King cut inside then blasted a fabulous 25-yard strike off the underside of the Bairns’ bar.
The hosts were keen to test keeper Thomson and they did so again in spectacular style on seven minutes when Fyvie had a 30-yarder tipped over.
On 12 minutes, United tried to catch out Falkirk with a quick corner. Fraser played it low and short to Sam Stanton, who first-timed his shot over the bar.
There were home shouts for a penalty on the quarter-hour when a McDonald chip to the back post appeared to be handled by Tony Gallacher.
With United dominating the game it was no shock when they took the lead on 21 minutes.
A lovely ball out to the left from Fraser found Robson in space. He took the ball on then cut inside, before playing it towards McDonald. It took a deflection but that Australian still hooked the ball up and into the goal to make it 1-0.
The home team continued to press and Flood, who was having a fine match, played the ball low across the face of goal where McDonald was waiting but somehow the ball was cleared.
Just seconds later, the Tangerines were at it again, this time Murdoch having two goes at goal – the latter an overhead kick – which were blocked by Thomson before a McDonald shot struck the arm of Jordan McGhee but no penalty was given by referee Alan Muir.
There was then a third United spotkick appeal on 37 minutes, although with Murdoch hitting the ball off Aaron Muirhead from close range it would have been harsh on the visitors.
Fraser had the ball in the net five minutes before the break after being played in by Flood but the whistle had long gone for offside.
The next goal, just a minute later, counted though.
The move the full-backs combine, with Murdoch drilling the ball over form the right to Robson, who was standing with his back to goal. He took a touch, spun around and then fired his shot low into the net from 10 yards.
Flood then guaranteed himself and the other players a standing ovation at the half-time whistle when he raced up the right before shooting low past Thomson.
Flood stayed in the changing room at the break, presumably injured, and was replaced by Paul McMullan, while former United striker Lee Miller, who was booked along with Tam Scobbie just before the end of the first half, made way for Nathan Austin.
There was a rare chance for the Bairns when sub James Craigen fired over three minutes after the break.
On the hour, it should have been 4-0 to United when Fyvie, McMullan and McDonald combined to set up Fraser, who should have scored but Thomson saved.
On 72 minutes, the Tangerines came within a whisker of scoring again, this time clever footwork from King winning him space inside the area and his cutback was pinged just a few inches past the post by McMullan.
It was all United all the time now, and King saw his shot saved by Thomson, the rebound was blasted against the bar by Fraser then Fyvie fired wide with the goal gaping – all within the space of a few seconds.
On 82 minutes, Murdoch had a shot well saved before Fraser’s strike was headed off the line. McDonald made way for Patrick N’Koyi a minute later then Paul Quinn replaced Fraser.
Defender Durnan raced upfield and his long-range shot wasn’t too far away before, with four minutes remaining, Fyvie cracked a shot off the post.
The full-time whistle then brought a terrific display from the Tangerines to a close.
Dundee United: Lewis, Murdoch, Scobbie, Durnan, McDonald (N’Koyi 83), Fraser (Quinn 86), King, Stanton, Flood (McMullan 46), Robson, Fyvie. Subs not used: Deniz, Edjenguele, Smith, Chalmers.
Falkirk: Thomson, McGhee, Muirhead, Grant, McKee (Dunne 59), Kerr, Longridge, Harris, Miller (Austin 46), Gallacher (Craigen 28), Blues. Subs not used: Mutch, Kidd, Hippolyte, Loy.
Referee: Alan Muir.