MAN UNITED 4, CHELSEA 0
Manchester United dispelled the fear they may struggle for goals following the £73million sale of Romelu Lukaku.
The Reds recorded their biggest home win against Chelsea since 1965 to make a perfect start to their Premier League campaign.
Marcus Rashford scored twice while there were also goals for Anthony Martial and debutant Daniel James.
Yet Chelsea must still be pondering how they lost so heavily as they enjoyed most possession, had more goal attempts and more corners.
United certainly took their chances and, with Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka making their debuts in defence, the back line was far more solid than in recent times as this was the first clean sheet since February.
That was illustrated by the stats which showed Maguire made most clearances (7), most interceptions (4) and most blocks (2) while Wan-Bisska made most tackles (6).
Though fortune was clearly on United’s side, there was a youthful and refreshing exuberance about their play as manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer bids to give the side a new identity.
The same applied to Chelsea whose new manager Frank Lampard also turned to youth, though their naivety was punished as he suffered the heaviest loss in the first match as manager since Danny Blanchflower lost 7-2 in 1978.Embed from Getty Images
Solksjaer said: “I would take any win because it is about picking up points in the first game
“The second half was outstanding. We defended well in shape and counter attacked well.
“We can count ourselves a little lucky to go in 1-0 up, but then half-time came, we settled down and played well in the second half.
“The fitter you are, the more you can do, it’s as simple as that. The boys have been working hard, but this is still the start.”
Solskjaer, who admitted they are still work in progress with “still loads to do”, added Maguire did exactly what he was signed to do – be a presence in both boxes as well as being calm and composed on the ball.
And of Maguire, Wan-Bisska and James he said: “We’ve signed three fantastic boys, three fantastic personalities and we are delighted with them.
“Dan made a great impact and it is the best feeling ever scoring a goal in front of the Stretford End. You can’t beat that.”
Lampard, struggling to come to terms with the 4-0 loss, said: “We were clearly the better side for 45/60 minutes, but made mistakes for the four goals which is the harsh reality.
“If we had gone in at half time 2-0 or 3-1 up and been more clinical the game would have been completely different.
“We are work in progress and have to learn harsh lessons. The players are disappointed, but there were a lot of elements I liked, but four or five I didn’t. I saw a lot of positives today.”
Lampard added Chelsea are missing internationals and big players but did not use that an excuse as they competed for long periods.
United handed debuts to summer signings Maguire and Wan-Bissaka while James was on the bench.
The starting line-up, which included Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard, Andreas Pereira and Scott McTominay, had an average age of 24 years and 227 days, the youngest in the Premier League this weekend.
“We are going to improve and are nowhere near at our best. We are going to have to improve and be better if we are to get results against the top sides,” said Solskjaer.
Chelsea, under a transfer embargo, included youngsters Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount who had returned to Stamford Bridge from loan spells.
Abraham came within inches of giving Chelsea a fourth minute lead when his shot on the turn from the edge of the box crashed against the upright.
Anthony Martial forced Chelsea’s Kepa Arrizabalaga into a diving save following an errant clearance from the Spanish ‘keeper.
United made the breakthrough when they were awarded a 17th minute penalty following Kurt Zouma’s clumsy challenge on Rashford which was verified by VAR.
Rashford stepped forward to fire high past Arrizabalaga to give the Reds the lead against the run of play as Chelsea had dominated early possession.
Ross Barkley had two decent chances to equalise, a drive flashed narrowly wide and then his fierce shot was kept out by the legs of keeper David De Gea.
Chelsea struck the frame of the United goal for a second time through left-back Emerson as United lived dangerously.
And it remained a similar story at the start of the second period when a stinging shot from Pedro was beaten out by De Gea.
United put the game to bed scoring twice in the space of 95 seconds to see off spirited Chelsea who will have felt there was no justice.
They claimed Abraham was fouled on the edge of the box as United broke swiftly ending with Pereira crossing for Martial to force the ball home from four yards as he got ahead of centre-back Andreas Christensen.
Chelsea were still reeling when they conceded a third goal. Paul Pogba’s delightful ball over the Chelsea defence released Rashford who breezed past Cesar Azpilicueta to slot home from 18 yards.
Chelsea had made all three changes bringing on Christian Pulisic, Olivier Giroud and N’Golo Kante before United made their first when James replaced Pereira.
Eight minutes into his debut and James marked his debut with a goal.
He was released by Pogba’s exquisite through ball, looked to have los out after poor control but whipped a terrific shot back across the face of goal into the far bottom corner of the net.
United made their last two changes with four minutes left as Rashford and Lingard were replaced by Mason Greenwood and Juan Mata.
Chelsea, in fairness, kept battling to the end as Mount forced a decent save from De Gea, Pedro fired narrowly wide and Emerson was denied by De Gea as it was a day when nothing went their way.