Manchester United are preparing for the start of a new Premier League season. The countdown has already started, as the Red Devils are set to play their first match of the new campaign this coming weekend. It will all start for Erik ten Hag’s team on Sunday against Brighton and Hove Albion, as Graham Potter’s side will be making the trip to Manchester.
It will be a good opportunity for Man United fans to see up close this new team which is still a work in progress, but which will want to make drastic changes compared to the last season, and which could play a different brand of football. But the season opener against Brighton is also a good opportunity to see how Man United fared in the last decade on their opening days of Premier League seasons.
In the past 10 season opening matches, Man United have won seven of them and lost three. There was never a draw in sight and, interestingly, United have also played seven of those 10 matches at Old Trafford. That will be the case again this Sunday, but let’s recollect some of these matches.
2012-13: Fellaini Sinks United
It was a season in which United won the league for the last time, under Sir Alex Ferguson. But that campaign started with a 1-0 loss at Goodison Park, when Marouane Fellaini scored the only goal for Everton.
2013-14: Van Persie And Welbeck Down Swansea
First Premier League match in the post Sir Alex era was a huge success. Man United defeated Swansea at Liberty 4-1, thanks to braces from Robin van Persie and Danny Welbeck. Who knew United would win just one of the next five games.
2014-15: Swansea Get Revenge
Interestingly, Swansea were the rivals on the opening day again in 2014 and this time the Welsh side got its revenge. They won 2-1 which was United’s first home league opener loss since 1972. Wayne Rooney scored the only goal for United.
2015-16: Walker Helps United
Louis van Gaal led Man United to a fifth place finish in this season, but the campaign started with a 1-0 win at Old Trafford against Tottenham Hotspur. Kyle Walker opened the entire Premier League season with an own goal.
2016-17: Mourinho’s First Win
Man United started the 2016-17 season with Jose Mourinho as their manager and it was a good start. United won 3-1 at Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium, thanks to goals from Juan Mata, Wayne Rooney and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. This was the last season United won any trophy.
2017-18: United Shine Against West Ham
Man United’s 2017-18 season saw their best league finish in the post-Ferguson era, as Mourinho led the team to a second place. And the campaign started really well, with a 4-0 win at home against West Ham. Lukaku scored twice, while Martial and Pogba both added late goals. United would win six and draw two games in the opening eight, a feat that now feels so distant.
2018-19: Pogba Leads To Beating Foxes
Man United started with a win in 2018 as well, when Paul Pogba and Luke Shaw scored against Leicester City. United won 2-1, but this would turn out to be another disappointing campaign.
2019-20: United Destroy Chelsea
The season opening day in 2019 is still remembered fondly at Old Trafford. Man United destroyed Frank Lampard’s Chelsea 4-0, thanks to a brace from Marcus Rashford, but also goals from Martial and Dan James.
2020-21: Palace Shine At Old Trafford
This was a hugely unexpected result, when Man United lost 3-1 to Crystal Palace in September 2020. Donny van de Beek scored for Devils, but Andros Townsend and Wilfried Zaha shined for the visitors.
2021-22: United’s Five-Star Start
Some could wonder Man United’s season opening 5-1 win over Leeds United at Old Trafford was their best performance in the entire season. Bruno Fernandes scored a hat-trick that day, while Mason Greenwood and Fred added goals as well.