Manchester United started their Premier League campaign with a 4-0 battering of West Ham on Sunday afternoon.
Old Trafford had much more fun than what they were used to last season and goals from Romelu Lukaku, Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba were enough for a healthy dose of optimism among Man United fans.
Goals Everywhere For Manchester United
After scoring just 1.42 goals per match last Premier League season, Jose Mourinho will be happy his side managed to score four on the opening day of the new one. Manchester United looked vibrant and hungry throughout.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan was constantly delivering chances for his team-mates and Romelu Lukaku did what he does best. He scored twice, showing everyone he is ready to grow at his new club. Man United’s centre-back pairing of Phil Jones and Eric Bailly looked very solid, giving a nice platform for attacking-minded players to score.
Lukaku’s first goal was a lovely move, Pogba made a beautiful goal from long range, while Martial showed what his pace can bring to this team.
Matic Is Brilliant
Man of the match. His display was impeccable. Right from the start he looked ready and composed. Just during first half, Nemanja Matic won eight out of 11 duels and completed all four take-ons against West Ham players.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 13, 2017
It was a display of highest caliber from the Serbian international and it remains puzzling why Chelsea let him go on last day of July for £40m. Playing like this whole season, Matic would not just prove to be signing of the season, but also bargain of the season.
Matic played very smoothly in a box-to-box role. He added creativity to his usual stabilizing role in the middle of the park and passed the ball around, slowing down the game when needed and adding tempo on other occasions.
West Ham Fell Apart
West Ham’s performance could easily be split until the first goal and after the first goal they conceded. Slaven Bilic’s boys looked good until Joe Hart capitulated to Lukaku. They were defending deep and their sets of block moved well sideways. It denied Manchester United some space in areas around the box, thus giving the Hammers good defensive look.
Yet, with Lukaku’s opening goal, it all changed. Second half was almost disastrous for West Ham. Belgian striker scored his second after a set-piece, completely free of players defending him in middle of the box. Man United continued creating chances, Rashford and Martial later on caused havoc with pace.
Bilic was visibly unhappy with his team’s performance and there is many things they should improve in the coming weeks.
Jose Mourinho played down the victory after the match. He insisted Man United being top of the table after one match means nothing. And he has a point.
Manchester United were very good. Yet, West Ham were not and they are surely a team better than they showed on Sunday. Avoiding euphoria after just one match is something fans should expect from Man United. It is a very long season and many more wins will be necessary to let euphoria creep in.
Swansea City will host Manchester United on Saturday, a good opportunity for Mourinho’s players to keep the top spot just for themselves.