Frank Lampard got his tenure as Chelsea boss off to the worst possible start as Manchester United coasted to a 4-0 victory at Old Trafford on Sunday evening.
Marcus Rashford opened the scoring with a quarter of an hour gone as he won and converted a penalty. Two quickfire goals from Anthony Martial and Rashford in the space of two second-half minutes then saw Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men amass a comfortable lead. Summer signing Daniel James came off the bench and made it a memorable day as he struck with a debut goal to round off a fantastic day for the hosts.
Chelsea enjoy confident start
Despite United’s crushing win, it was actually Frank Lampard’s Chelsea who enjoyed the better start. The Blues’ new no. 9, Tammy Abraham, went extremely close to the opener early on as he spun away from Rashford and saw his effort deflect off of the outside of the upright.
However, a mistake from Kurt Zouma saw him gift the ball to compatriot Anthony Martial but the forward could not get enough power beyond his shot to beat Kepa as the goalkeeper made a low stop.
Rashford strikes from the spot
Despite United’s somewhat under-par start, they soon seized the lead. Zouma again made a mistake as he clumsily tripped Rashford in the penalty area and a spot-kick was awarded. The striker was the man to step up and power the ball into the top corner to open his Premier League account.
The 21-year-old thought he had a second as he fired home again soon after but the offside flag was correctly risen and ruled the strike out.
Chances continued to be carved out for both sides and Ross Barkley could have notched an equaliser as he found space on the left, drifted in and forced a good save out of De Gea. Emerson then went extremely close as he was picked out and thundered a shot against the post from close range.
Tide turns in United’s favour
The Italian full-back had another effort following half-time that again De Gea had to stretch in order to palm away.
A chance was finally converted midway through the second-half but it was not in the way that the visitors would have wanted. Andreas Pereira whipped in a wonderful cross with Martial waiting patiently to convert from close range.
As quickly as the Red Devils had finished celebrating, they soon had an exquisite third. Paul Pogba produced a stunning lofted through-ball to find Rashford. When one-on-one with Kepa, the Englishman finished coolly low into the net to notch his second of the match.
Dream debut for James
The goals continued to come to the delight of the home crowd. Pogba and Martial played a stunning one-two on the break, with the former being released clean through on goal. He set the ball back, picked out substitute James and the Welsh youngster fired the ball into the far corner, albeit with the help of a deflection. That then rounded off a stunning opening match victory for United.
This was certainly not the start that Lampard would have wanted whatsoever. However, the scoreline probably was slightly unjust with Chelsea actually performing pretty well. The Red Devils were brilliant on the break and ruthless in front of goal though. They certainly deserved their victory and will look forward to a clash with Wolverhampton Wanderers next Monday. Meanwhile, the Blues turn their attentions to the UEFA Super Cup clash with Liverpool in midweek.
Manchester United: De Gea (7); Shaw (6), Lindelof (7), Maguire (8), Wan-Bissaka (6); Martial (7), Pogba (7), McTominay (7), Lingard (6) (Mata (N/A), 86′), Pereira (7) (James (7), 73′); Rashford (8) (Greenwood (N/A), 86′).
Chelsea: Kepa (6); Emerson (6), Zouma (5), Christensen (6), Azpilicueta (6); Kovacic (6), Jorginho (6) (Kante (5), 73′); Barkley (6) (Pulisic (5), 58′), Mount (6), Pedro (6); Abraham (5) (Giroud (6), 66′).
Goals: Rashford PEN (18′, 67′), Martial (65′), James (81′)
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Yellow Cards: Zouma (36′), Lingard (48′), Jorginho (52′), Abraham (57′), Lindelöf (69′) , McTominay (80′), Kante (90′)
Red Cards: N/A