Marcus Rashford Double Helps United Thrash Chelsea
A double from Marcus Rashford helped Manchester United thrash Chelsea at Old Trafford and kick off their Premier League campaign in style.
United took the lead thanks to a penalty from Marcus Rashford after 16 minutes.
Then a quick one two punch from Anthony Martial and Rashford put United firmly in control.
Chelsea were getting destroyed on the counter attack in the second half and conceded a fourth when substitute Daniel James scored on his Old Trafford debut.
In was a harsh lesson for new Chelsea boss Frank Lampard who’s side twice hit the woodwork in the first half. However, their failure to take their chances cost them, as they were horribly exposed on the counter time and time again in the second half.
For United they could not have dreamed for a better start and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be delighted with the display of their three debutants Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James.
Marcus Rashford Penalty Put United Ahead
Chelsea almost took the lead after just four minutes. Striker Tammy Abraham nicked the ball off Marcus Rashford on the edge of the box and unleashed a powerful shot, which struck the post.
Three minutes later, Manchester United were gifted a chance to take the lead. Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma gave the ball away to Anthony Martial just outside his own box. However, the French striker couldn’t curl his shot beyond Kepa Arrizabalaga in the Chelsea goal.
Chelsea were looking the much sharper side in the early stages and looked the more threatening going forward.
However, after 16 minutes, Manchester United were awarded a penalty. Marcus Rashford picked up the ball and ran at Kurt Zouma. The Chelsea defender then clumsily brought down the English striker inside the penalty area.
Rashford stepped up and confidently despatched the penalty by sending the ball high into the net beyond Kepa in the Chelsea goal.
The goal seemed to increase United’s confidence and they were starting to move the ball quicker and look more threatening in attack.
On 39 minutes, Chelsea had a great chance to equalize. Pedro played a great through ball to Ross Barkley out wide. However, his shot from inside the box was well saved by the legs of David De Gea in the United goal.
Chelsea were ending the first half better and seconds later hit the woodwork for the second time in the first half.
Jorginho played a ball inside the box. It eventually found its way through to Emerson at the backpost who’s volley hit the post with De Gea beaten.
The game was wide open with both sides finding so much space in midfield.
Quick One Two Punch Puts Manchester United In Control
It was a very even start to the second half with neither side able to create any clear cut chances.
Just before the hour mark, Christian Pulisic came on to make his Premier League debut for Chelsea replacing Ross Barkley in midfield.
On 65 minutes, Manchester United doubled their lead as they caught Chelsea on the counter attack. Marcus Rashford drove forward and played the ball out wide to Jesse Lingard. He laid the ball off to Andreas Pereira who then curled a brilliant cross into the box, which was tapped into the net by Anthony Martial.
17 seconds later, United made it three. A beautiful clipped ball over the top by Paul Pogba set Marcus Rashford in on goal. He then coolly slotted the ball past Kepa to send Old Trafford into ecstasy.
With ten minutes to go, United made it four. Again, Chelsea were caught on the counter attack. A neat one two between Martial and Pogba allowed the latter to drive forward. He passed it out wide to Daniel James who’s shot found the net with the aid of a slight deflection.
It was an impressive second half display from Manchester United, which blew away Frank Lampard’s side.
Defensive Delight For Solskjaer
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer couldn’t have wished for a better start.
He will be delighted to have scored four goals against one of their rivals for a top four finish.
Perhaps, Solskjaer will be even more happy that his side managed to keep a clean sheet.
It is the first time since February that Manchester United haven’t conceded in the Premier League.
Last season, they conceded 54 goals, the most United have let in the Premier League era. Harry Maguire who was brought in to sure up the defense, looked commanding in the air. Also, Aaron Wan-Bissaka looked solid at right-back.
Solskjaer will know that United could have easily conceded in the first half, as Chelsea hit the woodwork twice.
The Norwegian knows there is still work to do but will be very encouraged with what he saw.
Harsh Lesson For Frank Lampard
This is the worst possible start for new Chelsea boss Frank Lampard.
Arguably, Chelsea were the better side in the first half and created the best chances.
However, they fell away in the second half, which will set the alarm bells ringing for Lampard.
Time and time again, they failed to deal with the pace of Manchester United’s counter attack in the second half.
Also, Lampard will be worried that they failed to take their chances. The big question this season is where are the goals going to come from?
With Eden Hazard now at Real Madrid, much will depend on Tammy Abraham up front. He scored plenty of goals in the Championship, however this is a step up.
Chelsea have some experienced players to come back into the team, such as Willian and will hope that Christian Pulisic can help them be more clinical in attack.
If they don’t improve, it could be a long hard season for Chelsea.
Next up, they face Liverpool in the UEFA Super Cup in Istanbul on Wednesday.
For Manchester United, they take on Wolves at Molineux next Monday night.
Written by David Coates
Photo credit to ManUtd via Twitter