Chelsea thumped at Old Trafford as Man Utd prove class with Paul Pogba pulling the strings | Football | Sport


Chelsea were overrun after the break by a vibrant Manchester United leaving Lampard to face the inevitable chant of ‘You’re Getting Sacked in the Morning.’

Even at Chelsea, where the revolving door whirls at dizzying speed, that cannot happen but Lampard will be left wondering quite where his side disappeared to in a one-sided second half which had the feelgood factor back in abundance at The Theatre of Dreams.

The place lived up to its billing as the setting to a fantasy start to his United career for 21-year-old Daniel James with a goal seven minutes after emerging from the bench to crown a one-sided second half which saw Marcus Rashford add to his first half penalty and Antony Martial net too.

So much for the worries about where United’s goal threat would come from this season.

The glow around Lampard will continue to surround him for a good while yet. He is Chelsea’s Mr Ready Brek.

Thirteen seasons and 211 goals buys him almost limitless loyalty from the stands and the cries of ‘Super Frank’ echoed around Old Trafford at the final whistle.

But one game in and Lampard already knows the harsh realities of coaching life at the sharp end.

He has influential players to reintroduce in N’Golo Kante, who was restricted to a cameo off the bench on his return from injury, plus Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek but he will need more resilience than this.

Chelsea were the more creative force in the first period, hitting the woodwork twice through Tammy Abraham and then Emerson which brought a frustrated cry of ‘no’ from Lampard.

Yet United took a 1-0 lead into the break courtesy of a 19th minute penalty from Rashford after he had been clumsily brought down by Kurt Zouma.

Emerson also tested United goalkeeper David De Gea with a stinging left-foot shot in the 56th minute which the United captain pushed away.

But the home side broke away and increased their lead nine minutes later when Andreas Pereira’s cross was turned in by Martial and within a minute, Rashford was through on the goal from Paul Pogba’s superb pass and he finished calmly to put United 3-0 up.

Not everything Pogba did went to plan but after his none-too-subtle attempt to engineer a transfer in the summer, his commitment to the cause was clear.

It was his through ball to the flying James which saw the £15m arrival from Swansea score five minutes after coming on for his debut via Emerson’s deflection.

Both Harry Maguire and fellow debutant Aaron Wan-Bissaka also acquitted themselves well on their United debuts.

Maguire, the man of the match, looks like he could become a cult hero at the heart of the defence. The only United player in black boots, he radiates old-fashioned defensive virtues.

It was his victory over Abraham in their tussle on the edge of the United penalty area which sprung the counter-attack from which Martial scored.

As for VAR, it had a relatively quiet afternoon by first weekend standards with nothing overturned.

The absence of a big screen at Old Trafford meant the verdicts were delivered by a disembodied monotone Mancunian voice. The most excitement the decision-review mechanism generated was the investigation into whether Abraham’s yellow card for a poor challenge on Scott McTominay should be upgraded to a red but the female automaton decreed otherwise.

“VAR complete,” the voice intoned. Hammering for Chelsea complete also.

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