Manchester United confirmed their good pre-season form with an eye-catching 4-0 demolition of Frank Lampard’s Chelsea in their opening match of the 2019-20 Premier League campaign. However, the emphatic scoreline doesn’t tell the full story as Chelsea put up a strong fight and had more possession, more corners and more shots. Indeed, they hit the woodwork twice and were unlucky to trail to Marcus Rashford’s penalty at the interval.
Kurt Zouma had fouled Rashford inside the box and the striker drove the resultant penalty firmly into the roof of the net in the 18th minute. United were then content to soak up the pressure and play on the counter attack, with new signing Harry Maguire impressive at centre-back. The other new arrival, Aaron Wan-Bissaka started at right-back, meaning that United had around £125 million worth of new talent to call on in defence.
United’s counter attacking was clinical, with Martial and Rashford adding two goals in two minutes mid way through the second half to put the game beyond Chelsea and substitute Daniel James capped a dream debut by scoring the fourth just minutes after replacing Andreas Pereira.
United seemed to catch Chelsea at the right time as the Europa League winners left Kanté, Giroud and new signing Pulisic out of the starting line up, perhaps with one eye on their midweek European Super Cup match against Liverpool, and were also missing Willian, Rüdiger, Hudson-Odoi and Lofthus-Cheek through injury. The Blues are likely to be a much tougher proposition later in the season, so we can’t read too much into this result, but United have certainly started this campaign much better than they finished the last.
David de Gea – Shaw, Maguire, Lindelöf, Wan-Bissaka – Rashford, McTominay, Pereira, Pogba, Lingard – Martial
Subs: James (Pereira 74′), Greenwood (Rashford 86′), Mata (Lingard 86′)