(Sportinglife) Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United produced a late flurry of goals to thrash Frank Lampard’s Chelsea 4-0 in a perfect start to the season at Old Trafford.
United led a tight game through Marcus Rashford’s penalty before two goals in two second half minutes from Anthony Martial and Rashford again killed the game – substitute Daniel James adding further gloss with a debut goal late on.
The Premier League kept the most eagerly anticipated of the opening weekend to last as Solskjaer started the Reds’ latest transitional season against a side also buoyed by the appointment of a club great.
Lampard’s side were on top for large patches but ended up being blown away at Old Trafford, and while Solskjaer will be first to admit the display was far from perfect, the win was just the tonic after a summer of discontent.
Chelsea had started the brighter on Sunday and Tammy Abraham and Emerson Palmieri efforts off the woodwork bookended an entertaining opening period in which Rashford’s spot-kick was the difference.
Lampard’s new-look side continued to show promise as the second half got underway, only for United to show a ruthless edge sorely lacking in recent seasons.
Harry Maguire, this week made the most expensive defender in history, won the ball, starting a move that ended with Martial celebrating the return of his number nine jersey by turning in an Andreas Pereira cross.
Chelsea were punch-drunk and Paul Pogba put a summer of speculation behind him by superbly putting in Rashford to fire home.
New boy James came off the bench to score a deflected effort in front of the Stretford End following more fine work by Pogba and, if that was not enough, United kept a clean sheet.
Solskjaer named the youngest starting line-up seen in the Premier League this weekend, while Chelsea’s side also had an accent on youth as Mason Mount and Abraham started.
Kurt Zouma looked nervous and it was his mistake that cost Chelsea when he brought Rashford down for a penalty, which the United No 10 scored with an unerring finish.
Chelsea will be left ruing not making the most of their possession and chances, with Pedro also seeing an effort deflect over and Emerson stinging the palms of De Gea.
Man of the Match Maguire not only kept a clean sheet but started the move that would bring about a 65th-minute goal, with Pereira making space for himself and sending in a cross that Martial was able to bundle home.
Old Trafford erupted, just as it would again just 95 seconds later. Pogba may have been in his own half but he spotted Rashford’s run, with the forward keeping his cool after being picked out to slot home.
A fourth came as Pogba burst forwards with pace and power before feeding the ball to James, whose effort clipped Emerson and beat Kepa Arrizabalaga to seal a 4-0 triumph.