‘6 years ago, when Sir Alex Ferguson announced his retirement, it was like a heart transplant. Something that could not have been an easy replacement’.– Jim Beglin
On Sunday, it was the first time in 6 years that the Red Devils showcased a performance that genuinely lived up to the expectations of the fans. A match that could have very well been a bubble bursting start for United ended in a triumphant victory.
As for the Blues, it was rather disappointing. While Lampard’s men showed intent right from the start of the game, testing David De Gea quite a few times, it seemed like nothing was going there way. The closest they got to it was with Tammy Abraham and Emerson Palmieri hitting the woodwork twice in the first half.
Meanwhile, Ole’s men went into the game looking for 3 points but found much more. With two debutants starting for United, and one subbed in the second half, Manchester United’s squad looked deep and menacing.
Chelsea, on the other hand, had a brilliant start to the game and were causing some serious problems from the right flank. At the mark of 15 minutes, United enjoyed very little possession and looked shaky, something that very few expected at Old Trafford. However, Ole’s side picked up the game with a moment of clever play by Marcus Rashford in the 17th minute, when Kurt Zouma brought down the United number 10 inside the box.
Known for his ice-cold nerves during a spot-kick, Rashford finished a perfect top corner penalty, to give United the confidence booster they needed for the rest of the game.
In the second half, United were ready to go for the kill when a moment of brilliance saw the new United number 9, Anthony Martial, finish a classic United wing play past Kepa. The game took a harsh turn for the Blues when Rashford slotted a 30-meter Paul Pogba beauty at the back of the net, within 90 seconds of the second goal.
While Chelsea were trying to save face, they brought in Christian Pulisic, Olivier Giroud and N’Golo Kante to ask some questions, but United seemed to have their answers ready.
With in-form full-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka and record signing Harry Maguire guarding De Gea’s post, Old Trafford saw its first clean sheet since February 2019 against Liverpool. Not too long after, United’s first signing of this summer, Daniel James, came off the bench to score the fourth goal for United in front of the Stretford end and register himself at the Theatre of Dreams.
In the end, it was a complete and satisfying performance by United sending United second after Champions, Manchester City. It is fair to say that Old Trafford may have found its mojo again, and Ole’s hard work could see Manchester United as serious title contenders this season.
As for the Blues, Frank Lampard would need to fix several issues in the squad and gameplay while hoping for speedy recoveries of his first-choice players to bolster the team morale and get back to winning ways.
Next up, United travel to the West Midlands to face Wolves in a midweek game, while Chelsea host Leicester at Stamford Bridge for their first home game of the season on Sunday.