Manchester United thrash Chelsea in Premier League opener

Manchester United thrash Chelsea in Premier League opener

A Marcus Rashford double and goals from Anthony Martial and substitute Daniel James secured a resounding opening day victory for Manchester United, as a tactically naive Chelsea side gave Frank Lampard plenty to think about going forward.

With both managers kicking off their first full seasons in charge, it seemed as if neither side knew what to expect from the other, so things began tentatively.

There was a chance apiece in the opening ten minutes, with Tammy Abraham rattling the post from 20 yards, before a stray pass out from Kurt Zouma – misjudging the movement of Jorginho in front of him – gifted Martial a one-on-one, though the new number nine could only find the grateful gloves of Kepa.

The centre-back, fresh from a successful loan spell at ​Everton, looked nervous throughout the first half, and while he got away with his first mistake of the afternoon, his second proved more costly on 18 minutes. He clumsily tripped Rashford in the area, affording the 21-year-old the opportunity to convert a penalty, and he clinically obliged to open the scoring.

​Chelsea looked rattled by conceding the opener so early, and despite the erratic, unsure nature of their game persisting throughout the first half, they came within inches of levelling things up just before the break, when the marauding Emerson fired an effort off the inside of David de Gea’s near post.

Midway through the second half, however, Chelsea fell to pieces. An Andreas Pereira cross from the right split the central-defensive duo of Christensen and Zouma for Martial to double the lead, before Paul Pogba regained possession almost straight from kick-off to play a perfect chipped through ball into the path of Rashford, whose pace left Cesar Azpilicueta for dead before slotting past Kepa for three.

The rout didn’t stop there, as substitute ​James took a Pogba pass through on goal to put some shine on the scoreline and make absolutely sure of the points.