Manchester United beat Chelsea 4-0 at Old Trafford on Super Sunday but while the forwards had their fun, it was the home side’s new defender who earned the man of the match award. Harry Maguire’s dream debut showed why he will be such a key man this season, writes Adam Bate.
Tammy Abraham has the ball at his feet on the edge of the Manchester United box and another opportunity for the equaliser that Chelsea are seeking appears imminent. But he is dispossessed by Harry Maguire. Within moments the ball is at the other end. Andreas Pereira crosses from the right and Anthony Martial bundles it into the net. Two nil to United.
Marcus Rashford’s opener from the penalty spot might have been enough to win the match. The third and fourth sealed it. But it was this second goal that may have pleased Ole Gunnar Solskjaer the most. Here was Maguire, the defender he had pushed hard to bring in, starting the move for a goal scored by Martial, the man he had entrusted with the No 9 shirt.
It was an emphatic result to mark the start of Solskjaer’s first full season in charge, even though United did not look convincing for much of the first hour of the match. Abraham had hit the post when the game was goalless and Emerson repeated the trick before the half was out. As Maguire himself pointed out afterwards, United were fortunate early on.