Man United started the Premier League season emphatically against West Ham, with Romelu Lukaku scoring two.
United started strongly and looked a constant threat. They had an extra pace in their play which they lacked last season. They had a couple of half-chances and Lukaku was a constant threat.
The breakthrough came in the 33th minute through Lukaku. Nemanja Matic, who was also making his Premier League debut for United, made an interception in the middle of the pitch, which fell to Marcus Rashford. Rashford ran at the West Ham defence, before playing Lukaku through, who scored off the post.
West Ham were poor throughout the game and offered little threat to United. But, in the first half they came close, with Edimilson Fernandes forcing David de Gea into a save from the edge of the box.
Lukaku doubled his tally and United’s lead in the 52nd minute with a glancing header from a Henrick Mkhitaryan free-kick. It was almost inevitable that Lukaku would score against the Hammers, as he has scored 9 in 10 games
whilst playing for Everton.
He could’ve had a hat-trick, only for Pablo Zabaleta to slide in to block his effort. West Ham came close in the second half, but new signing Marko Arnautovic’s header hit the bar. They offered little going forward.
Rashford, who played very well, came very close to scoring. He curled an excellent shot against the inside of the right-hand post, but it didn’t go in. The victory was sealed in the 87th minute through substitute Anthony Martial, who slotted home after being played through by Henrick Mkhitaryan.
Paul Pogba added some gloss with a low finish from distance in the 90th minute. It was a very encouraging performance from United to start the new season.
United spent £150million in the summer on Lukaku, Matic and Victor Lindelof in a bid to sustain a stronger title challenge than last season. Lindelof didn’t make the team for this game but, Matic and Lukaku very much impressed.
This new team was outclassed in the Super Cup final against Real Madrid but in this game they looked menacing. Lukaku scored in that game and in this game he looked like he could be a revelation this season.
He was fantastic in this game and will be looking to add goals to a team which has lacked goals in the past few seasons. Another striker making their debut for their team in this game was Chicharito, who was stupidly sold by Louis Van Gaal. He didn’t make as much of an impact as Lukaku but he could be a good signing for West Ham. He was given a warm welcome from the United fans.
United have now lost only one of their 14 opening-day Premier League fixtures at Old Trafford. The fans will be demanding a better performance than last season, when although they won the League Cup and Europa League, they came sixth in the league. There is plenty of encouragement for them.
Next up they are at Swansea on Saturday, the 19 August at lunch time.