Wednesday, 21 August, 2019

Rashford grabs brace as United put four past Lampard's Chelsea

Marcus Rashford is enjoying life under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Marcus Rashford is enjoying life under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Cary Erickson | 12 August, 2019, 12:29

Frank Lampard's team was totally routed by Manchester United 4:0, with the latter kick-starting the 2019-2020 season so brilliantly thanks to goals from Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and new signing Daniel James.

However, as we've seen, it's impossible to draw conclusions from the opening game. We controlled the first half hour but made some poor decisions.

"We were comfortable in the first half". You can't make mistakes at this level.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took control and helped cheers things up for a few weeks, but the less said about their eventual seventh-placed finish, the better.

In his first outing at The Theatre of Dreams in a United shirt the most expensive defender in world football put on a solid display, keeping Frank Lampard's attacking Chelsea at bay.

He had a chance after United's big opening victory to confirm he is committed to the club, but instead offered up comments that are likely to spark rumours he would still leave the club if Real Madrid come calling ahead of the Spanish transfer deadline on September 2nd.

"As we said to the boys before the game, we have found the way we want to play and a way we believe in", Solskjaer told a news conference at Old Trafford. "We moved it nicely second half and our front three are so risky on the break", added the centre-half. We didn't handle the ball well enough and gave it away in unsafe areas.

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But Lampard rejected his former manager's claim by insisting more experienced players like N'Golo Kante, Olivier Giroud and Willian were not available to start.

The Red Devils completed a deal to sign the 26-year-old centre-half from Leicester City towards the end of the window after plenty of speculation linking him with a move away from the King Power Stadium.

With Pedro and Ross Barkley causing problems in the channels, Chelsea were moving the ball with confidence and United's midfield were often chasing shadows.

But the game turned decisively in United's favour when, after a Rashford led counter-attack, Martial bundled in a low cross from Andreas Pereira.

In the 81st minute, James collected the ball from Paul Pogba on the right wing and after originally hesitating with his shot, beat Kepa Arrizabalaga at his far post via a deflection.

That was the icing on the cake for United and, while the team remains a work in progress, the mood around Old Trafford was back to its jubilant best.