“There is always a sense of anticipation ahead of the opening Premier League game of the season,” Ed Woodward, Manchester United’s CEO wrote for the fans in the Match Programme, “But today will be even more special than usual with a full house cheering on the team for the first time in 17 months.’
It certainly was a special day for United fans; not just for the score line but also with the unveiling of Raphael Varane to the crowd ahead of kick-off. Plus the introduction of Jadon Sancho late on in the match.
Not everyone was satisfied with the team selection. The Manchester Evening News expressed ‘disappointment but not surprise’ at the United line up. With Fred and McTominay in midfield, ‘Today seems to be a case of not losing rather than getting off to a winning start’, the newspaper opined.
Which player deserves this season’s first Man of the Match? Scott McTominay was tough and gritty in midfield. Young Mason Greenwood continued where he left off last year, with a mature performance and an excellent goal. Does Bruno Fernandez’s hat trick qualify him as the Man of the Match over all others? Bruno became the first Manchester United player to score a hat-trick on the opening day of a league season since Lou Macari vs Birmingham in 1977-78. Or does Paul Pogba’s imperious display and 4 assists make him more worthwhile? Paul became only the seventh player in Premier League history to assist four goals in a single game in the competition. This time it will have to be a tie between Bruno and Paul.
In a Manchester Evening News season preview survey involving more than 20,000 fans, 53 per cent of submissions predicted United to become champions and 23 per cent thinking they’ll finish as runners-up. Of course, one swallow does not make a summer, but good to note that with this victory, United have now won their opening Premier League game of a season for the 20th time, the first club to hit that milestone in the competition’s history.
Article contributed by Contributor Kenneth. Comments are appreciated on our Facebook page.