Report: Romelu Lukaku sank West Ham with an Old Trafford debut brace; Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial score too


Manchester United beat West Ham United 4-0 at Old Trafford in the opening game of their Premier League campaign. In the days before the match, manager Jose Mourinho said United were on fire, and he was right. Romelu Lukaku opened the scoring in the 33rd minute, assisted by Marcus Rashford. The Belgian’s second goal came off his head with Henrikh Mkhitaryan assisting. United’s third goal was scored by Anthony Martial, Mkhitaryan the provider again. United rounded off the scoring through Paul Pogba, a thundering effort, assisted by Martial. United have started the new season at the top of the league.

Jose Mourinho named a good starting XI to take on the Hammers with his side having a bright start. West Ham also had a bright start, nothing to write home about for either side in the opening six minutes of the match. In the seventh minute of the match, Romelu Lukaku got the ball on the left flank, ran up the pitch and tried to get a cross into the box, which was cleared for a United corner. The corner came to nothing with the Hammers clearing and Blind getting a cross into the box, hitting Nemanja Matic with the ball going out for a goal kick. A bright spell from United there, unlucky not to find something.

In the eleventh minute of the match, Paul Pogba got away from his marker and saw his low cross cut out by Winston Reid. Henrikh Mkhitaryan then hit the ball over the crossbar from inside the box, which was the best chance yet for United. In the 14th minute, Juan Mata played a pass into Marcus Rashford on the edge of the box. The forward was challenged and went down easily, nothing given by the referee and West Ham made the clearance from danger. United then started their attack again. In the 16th minute of the match, Daley Blind had the ball at the edge of the box, not sure if it was a cross or a shot, but he was wide of the target.

United had a great chance to take the lead in the 19th minute of the match with Joe Hart off his line, brought out by United, the ball being played in the box and a scuffle to get the ball into the back of the net. West Ham cleared the ball, which stopped United from taking the lead, luckily. United maybe need to be a bit more ruthless up front. United were still trying to piece something together in the 21st minute of the match with a looped pass over to the left flank for Blind to cross into the box, going out of play for another goal kick. United won a corner minutes later, Blind reaching Bailly who put the ball out of play.

In the 25th minute, Rashford tried to get something by twisting and turning in the box to get through from the left flank but his effort was deflected behind. United were still looking strong. Mata had a great chance in the 27th minute, not aiming for a goal, squaring the ball across the face of the goal to create a chance, which was thwarted by the Hammers. United won another corner soon after, the threat being cleared for another with Lukaku looming and Hart clearing his area. United took the lead in the 33rd minute of the match through Lukaku with Rashford doing the work to get the ball into the box and Lukaku firing, striking the post and in.

Nemanja Matic was having a great game for United as half time approached. Not only was he commanding his area, he also attempted to create something himself, showing that he was not just a one trick pony. Mourinho will be proud of his newest signing of the summer. Eric Bailly was booked in the 43rd minute for a challenge on Javier Hernandez, who was being a tricky customer in the match, but nowhere near as dangerous as he could be. There was a minute of added time at the end of the half, West Ham had a chance, with David De Gea making the save, Bailly and Pogba clearing the danger. 1-0 to United.

Four minutes into the second half and Rashford could have doubled United’s lead, latching onto Pogba’s pass, making the run and getting close to the box and launching his shot, which was wide of the target. Pablo Zabaleta was booked for a foul on Rashford in the 51st minute of the match, United winning a free-kick just outside the box on the left flank. Lukaku scored his second of the day from the free-kick with Mkhitaryan putting the perfect ball into the box and the Belgian striker heading home. 2-0 United and a second Old Trafford goal for the £75 million man.

Mkhitaryan found the back of the net in the 57th minute after some good attacking play by United, but Rashford was offside, having played the ball on the attack and the third goal was ruled out for United. Just before the hour, Marko Arnautovic’s looping header clipped the bar in the first credible chance for the visitors. United getting a ticking off by the manager, who ran from his seat and into the technical area. Antonio Valencia was booked for a challenge on Arnautovic in the 60th minute, just before the Hammers made their first change with Edmilson Fernandes replaced by Diafra Sakho and Declan Rice replacing Mark Noble.

Immediately after the changes, United were looking for a third with Lukaku unlucky to complete his hat-trick. Pogba, latching onto the ball coming back saw his effort deflected by Zabaleta with the home side winning a corner. Mkhitaryan made a good run towards the box, firing his shot but Hart thwarted the effort. United were playing with such an attacking threat that the Hammers will be happy when the whistle has been blown for full-time. United seem to have changed in the year from Mourinho’s first Premier League match to the first of this season. A lot better and better with attacking chances too.

In the 66th minute, Rashford had a superb strike on go from just inside the box, beating the keeper, who dived to save the effort and striking the post and. Unlucky for Rashford, who seems determined to get something from the game today. Mourinho will be happy with his team, who seem to be pulling out all the stops to entertain and impress. In the 71st minute, after some good interplay with Valencia, Blind, receiving the cross had a shot on goal, just hitting it slightly over the crossbar from a wide-angle. Mourinho sent Marouane Fellaini, Matteo Darmian and Anthony Martial out to warm up, seemingly looking to make some changes.

Lukaku had a shot in the 75th minute, over the crossbar. Fellaini replaced Mata in Mourinho’s first change of the match with United reverting to a 4-3-3 formation. West Ham started to try to piece something together after the United substitution. Some poor clearing by Blind could have seen Arnautovic score, but his shot is still rising now. In the 79th minute, Mourinho brought on Martial to replace Rashford to a rousing reception. West Ham made their third change with Aaron Cresswell replacing Arthur Masuaku. Martial, in the 82nd minute, had the ball on the flank, passed to Lukaku who thought he may have been offside, not taking the chance to score his third of the day.

74,928 supporters were at Old Trafford to see new summer signing Nemanja Matic put in a great performance and more importantly see new striker, Romelu Lukaku score his brace. In the 85th minute, Lukaku was put through to try to complete his hat-trick, Hart getting the ball. In the 88th minute of the match, Anthony Martial scored the third goal for United after Mkhitaryan played the ball in for the Frenchman. After the celebration, Jesse Lingard replaced the Armenian as the third and final change of the match. United went 4-0 up and top of the Premier League after Paul Pogba scored United’s fourth goal, assisted by Martial – some good play from the French teammates. Manchester United send West Ham packing after a 4-0 victory.

Goals: Romelu Lukaku 33′, 52′, Anthony Martial 87′, Paul Pogba 90′

Assists: Marcus Rashford 33′, Henrikh Mkhitaryan 52′, 87′, Anthony Martial 90′

Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia, Bailly, Jones, Blind; Matic, Pogba; Mata (Fellaini 75′), Mkhitaryan (Lingard 88′), Rashford (Martial 79′); Lukaku

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Smalling, Darmian; Herrera

Bookings: Eric Bailly 43′, Antonio Valencia 60′

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