Report: Rashford, Martial and James sink Lampard’s Chelsea 4-0 in Old Trafford Premier League opener

Manchester United beat Frank Lampard’s Chelsea 4-0 at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon. Marcus Rashford scored a brace (one of them from the spot) with Anthony Martial and Premier League debutant Daniel James getting in on the action as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side start their new Premier League season with a bang.

It was a game that would end a summer of moaning, or at least it should as the supporters would now have something to concentrate on instead of wishing players the club were not interested in were actually members of the squad. The summer has been pretty bleak without United, even pre-season matches did not stop the hunger without a major tournament.

Chelsea nearly opened the scoring inside the first five minutes with Tammy Abraham hitting the far post with a strike that David De Gea would not have been able to stop. United had an opportunity in the eighth minute of the match after Kurt Zouma passed the ball straight to Anthony Martial inside his box but the Frenchman could not find an advantage for United.

Chelsea seemed to be the more dominant side in the early stages of the game but United started to get forward more and in doing so, won a penalty in the 18th minute after Zouma again made an error, this time bringing Marcus Rashford down in the box. The 21-year-old took the resulting spot-kick, beating Kepa Arrizabalaga from 12 yards.

With the goal against the run of play, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will have been hoping that it gave his side more confidence to take on this Chelsea side, who are winless at Old Trafford in around six years. There was a slight stoppage in play around the 22nd minute after Andreas Christensen had a head injury from hitting Paul Pogba’s arm when he jumped to win the ball.

In the 25th minute of the match, Aaron Wan-Bissaka ran up the right flank for the first time in the match, taking on two defenders, managing to get past one but Emerson Palmieri stuck with him, blocking his cross into the box. United had started to grow into the match, playing with a lot more confidence since the penalty was scored by Rashford.

Rashford found his second goal in the 34th minute of the match but he offside. However, Pogba was fouled by Mateo Kovacic in the run up to the goal but no foul was given against the Croatian midfielder. Zouma was booked in the 36th minute for a foul on Andreas Pereira, which will resume his bad game against United.

Emerson Palmieri hit the crossbar in the 40th minute after Chelsea pressed United, the second time Chelsea has hit the frame of the goal in the first half of the match. De Gea made his first save of the game to deny Ross Barkley in the closing stages of the first half. United had also rotated their front three during the half now with Jesse Lingard leading the line.

Two minutes were added on at the end of the half with United seeking that second goal to add a bit of a cushion to the scoreline. United had advanced and the ball was heading to Lingard but Chelsea cut possession and headed on their own pursuit to find an equaliser before the break, however, it was not forthcoming.

There were no changes at the start of the second half. Lingard was booked in the first few minutes of the half for stepping on a Chelsea player. United were playing with a lot of energy once again, especially in attack but in the midfield was not creating much to feed them. Chelsea has a shot in the fifteenth minute through Pedro but he was well over the crossbar.

Jorginho became the second Chelsea player to be booked in the game after a challenge on Lingard whilst running into the Chelsea half. United were then keeping the ball well around the Chelsea box. Both Rashford and Lingard showed their quick feet before Harry Maguire passed the ball back to Rashford to hit his shot, which was blocked.

Chelsea then had a chance to add pressure to their opposition with Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross aiming for his teammates in the middle of the box and fell for Emerson, who was waiting in the box. He smacked the shot towards the goal but De Gea made the dive, pushing the shot clear of his goal. Abraham was then booked for a challenge on Scott McTominay. It was reviewed by VAR for a potential red card, but it was just a yellow.

Chelsea made their first substitution on the 59th minute with Barkley being replaced by Christian Pulisic, who made his Premier League debut for his club. United won a corner in the 62nd minute of the match which was played to Maguire, who could not be the difference in United being 2-0 up in this game.

Maguire showed just why Solskjaer wanted him this summer with is tussle with Abraham in the 64th minute, winning the ball fairly. A minute later, United were 2-0 up with Anthony Martial scoring after United broke through on the right with Lingard, passing Pereira who got past Zouma, swinging the ball into Martial who beat Kepa from six yards.

The 2-0 scoreline was shortlived though with United finding a third through Rashford after Pogba picked up the ball in United’s half, played a superb over the top ball to Rashford, who took it down with one touch and finished to beat Kepa for the second time on two minutes. Solskjaer will be happy with what he is seeing from his team today.

In the 69th minute, Chelsea made their second substitution with Olivier Giroud coming on for Abraham. What a start for Solskjaer and his team to the season, scoring three goals against Frank Lampard’s Chelsea. In the 73rd minute, Lampard made his final substitution with N’Golo Kante replacing Jorginho. Solskjaer made his first substitution in the 74th minute with Daniel James replacing Pereira to make his Premier League debut.

Chelsea seemed to be out of the game heading into the final ten minutes with the visitors having 14 shots compared to the eight United had at the time. However, United were not yet finished. McTominay was booked for a foul on Giroud in the 80th minute, something Martial did not seem too happy about. In the 81st minute of the match, something special happened.

Daniel James has been on the pitch less than ten minutes as United lunched forward once again. Pogba and Martial linked up brilliantly on the left which set Pogba away. The Frenchman then drove clear and played the ball into the box for the Welshman, who hit his shot which deflected off Emerson and spun past Kepa. A goal on his debut. What a great feeling.

Five minutes from time, Mason Mount had a shot for Chelsea, which was an easy one for De Gea to stop. Solskjaer made a double substitution in the 86th minute, bringing on Mason Greenwood and Juan Mata for Rashford and Lingard respectively. After Emerson played a cross into the box, which Pedro missed, Kante was booked for clipping the heels of James.

Four minutes of time was added on at the end of the half, with United doing enough to not only keep a clean sheet but to keep in line with their competition this season, meeting the four goals Liverpool has scored, despite them conceding one, and just one behind Manchester City, who beat West Ham United 5-0 on Saturday. What a win for United and Solskjaer.

Goals: Marcus Rashford 18′ (pen), 67′, Anthony Martial 65′, Daniel James 81′

Assists: Andreas Pereira 65′, Paul Pogba 67′, 81′

Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; McTominay, Pogba; Pereira (James 74′), Lingard (Mata 86′), Martial; Rashford (Greenwood 86′)

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Young, Tuanzebe; Matic

Bookings: Jesse Lingard 46′, Victor Lindelof 69′, Scott McTominay 80′; Kurt Zouma 36′, Jorginho 52′, Tammy Abraham 57′, N’Golo Kante 90′

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I support Manchester United, the greatest English football team to have ever existed. Bruno Fernandes is the latest in a long line of players with great ability to play for the club. I idolised Bryan Robson, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, and Eric Cantona growing up.