MANCHESTER, England — Manchester United got their season off to a flying start by thrashing Chelsea 4-0 at Old Trafford.
Marcus Rashford scored a first half penalty before Anthony Martial, Rashford and new boy Daniel James all found the net after half-time to hand Frank Lampard a nightmare start to life as Chelsea manager.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team still went in at the break a goal up after Kurt Zouma had given Rashford the chance to score from the spot. And United were clinical after the break, particularly during a 90-second period midway through the half which saw Martial and Rashford score in quick succession to put the game to bed.
There was still time for James to score his first United goal just nine minutes after coming on as a substitute to leave United second in the table after the first round of fixtures.
Right-back had become a problem for Solskjaer by the end of last season but it looks like he might have solved it over the summer. It’s still too early to make any kind of judgement but Aaron Wan-Bissaka, a £50 million signing from Crystal Palace, made a very good start to his United career. He will have to improve going forward but, at 21, there is plenty of time for that. Defensively he was good and there won’t be many forwards going past him this season.
Midfield looks like a problem. Solskjaer started with Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay behind Andreas Pereira and for a large chunk of the first half they were overrun. Marouane Fellaini left in January and Ander Herrera departed at the end of the season and without replacements for either United’s midfield looks weaker than it was. It doesn’t bode well for Fred that he didn’t even make the 18-man squad despite supposedly being fully fit.
Manager rating (out of 10)
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, 7 — With an average age of 24 years and 277 days, the Norwegian picked the youngest starting XI of any Premier League team on the opening weekend of the season. Decisions to buy Harry Maguire and Wan-Bissaka look like good ones and he was rewarded for his faith in Martial as the first choice centre forward when the Frenchman got the crucial second goal.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best, players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
DF Aaron Wan-Bissaka, 8 — Solskjaer will want the 21-year-old to offer a bit more going forward but he barely put a foot wrong when he was defending. One fantastic challenge on Barkley was greeted with a huge cheer.
DF Luke Shaw, 7 — Jose Mourinho had had a veiled dig at the left-back from the safety of the Sky studio as a pundit at Old Trafford, but Shaw certainly wasn’t the weak link the former United boss seemed to suggest.
DF Harry Maguire, 8 — One of the key reasons why United managed to keep their first Premier League clean sheet since February. Impressive debut after what has been a hectic week.
DF Victor Lindelof, 7 — Didn’t get a chance to stride out from the back during a frantic game but he was composed alongside his new centre-half partner.
MF Paul Pogba, 7 — Sometimes sloppy on the ball and careless defensively but passes like the one for Rashford’s second goal make him worth it. Wonderful vision and flawless execution.
FW Jesse Lingard, 7 — Spent most of preseason playing centrally but started on the right here. Played with lots of energy but looks more comfortable infield.