On a very hot Sunday afternoon, the 2019-20 competitive season got off to a start at our Supporters’ Club in Msida with a jam-packed club house, and what a perfect start it turned out to be! What on paper seemed like a difficult match against Chelsea for Manchester United to kick off the Premier League season transformed into a surprising 4-0 demolition of Frank Lampard’s Blues. Six of the players that played some part in this match (De Gea, Lingard, Pogba, Rashford, Mata and Martial) surely remember the 4-0 thrashing against Chelsea in London on the 23rd October 2016 not so long ago, when Antonio Conte’s side humiliated us as from the opening whistle with a Pedro goal in the first minute. Three years down the line and it was payback time.
Pre-season in general went very well, United having won all their friendly matches and seen newcomers Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James fit into the squad seamlessly. The other late addition to the squad, the world’s most expensive defender Harry Maguire, featured for the first time in the red shirt in the match against Chelsea. More impressive than the result is the fact that all three signings who arrived this summer have impressed and shown that they were all a shrewd piece of business for the transfer fee paid for their services. Daniel James, who came on as a substitute with his thrilling pace that invited harsh tackles, scored on his competitive debut on the 81st minute and is definitely a bargain acquisition. Wan-Bissaka did not let anything past and showed that opponents will have trouble attacking us from their left flank this season as he ticked all the right boxes for what a right-back should do. With Maguire, we simply bought a rock and placed it in the centre of our defence. He played a solid match with composure and confidence that come from years of experience in the Premier League and with the England national team. Lindelöf and Maguire may be the right partnership to end the defensive disorder of the past years.
The match got off to a mixed start as Rashford scored a penalty in the 18th minute and Chelsea hit the post twice. It was in the second half that Manchester United took over with their fast play and counter-attack. Martial and Rashford scored the second and third goals in just two minutes (65th and 67th minutes), and Daniel James topped it up with a goal from the bench in the 81st. Rashford was voted Man of the Match after his two goals and Manchester United sit in 2nd place behind City (who won their match 5-0 against West Ham) after the end of the first match-day.