Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United produced a late flurry of goals to beat Frank Lampard’s Chelsea 4-0 in a perfect start to the new season at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Manchester United needed a good start to the crusade to clear the memories of a horrendous end to last season. Rashford’s early penalty and three goals in the second-half from Anthony Martial, Rashford and debutant Daniel James had Old Trafford in joys.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire were additionally impressive at the back on their Premier League debut for United. The club had just spent £130 million on the pair to boost their defence that let in 54 Premier League goals last season.
There are questions to be asked on Chelsea’s decision to let experienced defender David Luiz leave to join Arsenal last week as Chelsea defence struggled to contain the Reds counter-attacks.
Lampard’s first eleven for the match was a bold one as he put his confidence in youth with Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount starting the game. £60 million signing Christian Pulisic was made to sit tight for his Premier League debut on the bench.
Chelsea began the better side as Abraham crushed a shot from the edge of the box off the post.
But the core of the Chelsea defence consistently looked vulnerable.
Kurt Zouma had just managed to get away from being punished after giving away possession to Martial on the edge of his box. The Frenchman shot went straight into the arms of Kepa Arrizabalaga. A few moments later, Zouma was turned easily by Rashford and felled the striker to the ground.
Rashford took the penalty high past Kepa to open the scoring and United sustained off the energy of the goal for a spell.
However, Chelsea steadied themselves as the first forty-five minutes wore on and should have equalised before the break.
David de Gea had to make a brilliant save with his feet to deny Ross Barkley before left-back Emerson Palmieri also went off the inside of the post.
De Gea was to blame on many occasions as United struggled towards the end of last season. However, the Spaniard, who had the captain’s armband in the absence of Ashley Young, displayed a bit of his old self as he beat away another two incredible drives from Emerson after the break.
Meanwhile, at the opposite end, Rashford and Martial gave the clinical touch to kill the game off in about 60 seconds.
Maguire demonstrated his quality to outmuscle Abraham on the edge of the United box and set off a counter-assault that finished with Martial slotting the ball home at the far post from Andreas Pereira’s cross.
Paul Pogba gave a brilliant pass over the top for Rashford to barge in behind before putting it past Chelsea goalkeeper.
Pogba was the maker again for the fourth goal as the Frenchman played a one-two pass with Rashford and controlled through the Chelsea defence before laying off to James, who got the advantage of a wicked deflection to find the bottom corner.