Manchester United came out all guns blazing, thumping Chelsea 4-0 in a season-opener that will stay etched in the minds of many.
To the eye, such complete performance indicates that the Red Devils are exactly where they need to be already – aggressive offensively, disciplined in the back and feeding off of Paul Pogba‘s enchanting wizardry to seal games off. Then again, it’s only a positive result in the first match of a long, demanding season – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s first full season at the helm, to be exact. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that he comprehends the PL’s environment better than most, though.
“4-0 you can’t dream of more or expect more but then again we are working on improving as a team and finding a style that suits us a team,” Solskjaer told the BBC. “We still need time but it is coming.
“Team spirit has been fantastic,” he added. “We started 1 July as the aim to get as many players fit for this game. We had everybody bar Eric Bailly fit. There are a lot of disappointed players who wanted to be part of this start. But they wanted to be here and they are happy to be part of a winning start.”
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From Pogba, to Marcus Rashford, to Anthony Martial, Sunday’s big stage at Old Trafford was good to the home side, specifically to debutant Daniel James, 21, who scored in the 81st minute after coming on as a substitute. “It was a big moment for him,” the Norwegian manager said about the Englishmen’s impressive cameo. “He has had a tough summer and some ups and downs in life so I am happy for his debut goal.”
Manchester United are on the right path: winning in convincing manner at home, against one of their fiercest rivals. But it’s not new news at Old Trafford, where winning is second nature and expectations are sky-high.
If you don’t think that’s the case, just ask Solskjaer.
“Winning is a habit,” the 46-year-old manager confessed. “We are lucky to go in 1-0 up but in second half our nerves settled, our confidence grew.”