Manchester United started their Premier League campaign with an impressive 4-0 victory over rivals Chelsea. The Red Devils didn't start the game particularly well and it was Chelsea who looked like the more dangerous side during the opening exchanges of the encounter. The Blues were unlucky not to open the scoring as Tammy Abraham's brilliant strike struck the post. Chelsea imposed themselves in the midfield area and had the majority of the possession. However, Manchester United opened the scoring through a penalty after Kurt Zouma brought down Marcus Rashford inside the box. The 21-year-old took the responsibility upon himself and dispatched the penalty past the Chelsea goalkeeper.
The second half began with Chelsea dominating the proceedings once again. They had a couple of chances to equalize but failed to capitalize on them. Manchester United doubled their lead with Antony Martial burying the ball at the back of the net from a brilliant delivery by Andreas Pereira. The Red Devils scored again in the space of 90 seconds with Rashford scoring a brilliant goal. The final nail in the coffin for Chelsea came from Daniel James, who finished a brilliant counter-attack started by Paul Pogba.
Here are three things we learned from Manchester United's impressive victory over Chelsea at Old Trafford.
#3 Manchester United struggled to cope up with Chelsea's high press:
Manchester United struggled to play out from the back when Chelsea's front-line pressed them. The Manchester United centre-backs were forced to play the ball wide to the full-backs, which made it easier for the Chelsea players to win back the ball and start counter-attacks. Scott Mctominay and Paul Pogba had to drop very deep into their own half to receive the ball from the defenders, which left a huge gap between the midfield and the front three on the pitch. The Red Devils looked efficient in playing from the back during pre-season. However, it seems like it will take them a few more games to implement that style in the Premier League due to its high intensity and physicality.
#2 Manchester United's midfield looked non-existent in the first-half:
Despite Manchester United being 1-0 up going into the half-time break, Chelsea were the much better side in the first half. Manchester United's midfield looked non-existent for most parts of the game and was overpowered by Chelsea's middle three. United's talisman Pogba didn't have the best of games and lost the ball on more than one occasion. He also struggled to carry the ball forward due to Chelsea's constant pressure, and his long-range passes to the forwards were intercepted by Chelsea's backline. Mctominay, who enjoyed a terrific pre-season, failed to impose himself in the middle of the park. Despite their first-half struggles, the midfield duo did improve in the second half of the game, with Pogba grabbing two wonderful assists and Mctominay looking much more confident in the middle of the park.
#1 Manchester United's new signings were impressive in their Old Trafford debut:
Manchester United's new boys Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James were hugely impressive in their Old Trafford debut against Chelsea. Maguire showed exactly why Manchester United splashed a world-record £80 million on him. The 26-year-old was rock solid at the back and marshalled the Manchester United backline perfectly. Right-back Wan-Bissaka looked solid at his position, causing Chelsea's left-sided players all sorts of problems throughout the 90 minutes. He also looked decent going forward and delivered a couple of dangerous crosses into the box. Welsh winger Daniel James came on in the second half and scored on his Manchester United debut. His celebration afterwards showed exactly how much the goal meant to him.Published 12 Aug 2019, 10:03 IST