The first match of October saw Everton visit Old Trafford and it proved to be something of a watershed moment: back-to-back wins for the first time under Van Gaal, a return to the Premier League's top four and a truly heroic display from Spanish stopper David de Gea.
Angel Di Maria put the Reds in front only for Steven Naismith to level for Everton but Falcao's first United goal and a De Gea penalty save from Leighton Baines, one in a series of outstanding stops, prove enough for United's third win in four.
A Monday night trip to the Hawthorns to face West Bromwich Albion perhaps proved tougher than expected.
Stephane Sessegnon and Saido Berahino twice put the Baggies ahead but first United goals for Marouane Fellaini and Daley Blind (in the 87th minute), both of them beauties, salvaged a point for the Reds who are still searching for that first away win.
United end the month with a "Super Sunday" encounter against unbeaten leaders Chelsea and pits van Gaal up against his great friend and rival Jose Mourinho.
Didier Drogba puts the Blues in front but United, still without the suspended Wayne Rooney, rally and snatch a point right at the death when Robin Van Persie smashes in a loose ball from Fellaini's saved header from a Di Maria free-kick.
Two late goals in two games hint at the return of the old United that so often saved games late on under Sir Alex and the Reds end October in eighth position, three points off the Champions League positions.
Five players (RVP, Di Maria, Fellaini, Falcao and Blind) all scored one goal each in October, with the former two now our top scorers (out on their own with three each)
October: Played 3, Won 1, Drawn 2, Goals For 5, Goals Against 4