At Old Trafford, the atmosphere crackled with anticipation as the much-anticipated Sunday night lastly arrived for fans of two of England’s largest clubs. Having lost some of their sheens in recent years due to Manchester City and Liverpool’s amazing exploits, the conversation for Manchester United and Chelsea have mostly revolved around recapturing their glories of the previous decade.
Helmed by two club legends in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Frank Lampard, these two England giants are nowadays nothing but title contenders, but the fans ‘ enthusiasm for establishing fresh legacies has not been dampened. While Chelsea was forced to taste the first sample of life after Eden Hazard, Manchester United was eager to put a quirky transfer window behind them.
Ninety minutes later, Chelsea had suffered their worst defeat at the Old Trafford since 1965 and Solksjaer had a relief look painted on his features for his team got away with another mediocre start to their game, but the mood was nothing but a Debbie downer for either set of fans, because even the losing visitors dared to hope for a better future.
Nevertheless, the 4-0 scoreline during which Marcus Rashford discovered the back of the net twice and even helped Anthony Martial get on the score sheet while Daniel James ‘ debut objective was a time of exuberant celebration.
For the first time in a competitive setting, Frank Lampard, taking charge of his former club, has been running the youngest side in the past seven seasons. His hands linked by the transfer ban coupled with injuries to the likes of Antonio Rudiger, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Willian and Callum Hudson-Odoi, Lampard decided to hand over Premier League starts to Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount, while both Pedro and Ross Barkley were favored over Christian Pulisic. David Luiz’s deadline day shenanigans meant Kurt Zouma slotted in at center-half alongside the highly-rated Andreas Christensen.
Solksjaer fielded Martial, Rashford and Jesse Lingered’s expected attack trifecta while Scott McTominay and Andreas Pereira’s inclusions along with Paul Pogba did not surprise Solksjaer’s long-time followers. In a statement of authority, Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, two of the prized United assets picked up this summer, were handed over their club debuts.
Writer: Himani Ranade