Good afternoon! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole
for today's Premier League showdown between Manchester United
and Chelsea at Old Trafford!
It is an ideal way to bring the curtain down on the opening weekend of the new Premier League season, and the pressure is already on these sides after the rest of the top six all made winning starts to the campaign. Both United and Chelsea - the latter of whom are now led by Frank Lampard - are looking for fresh starts this season and victory over one of their biggest rivals today would be an ideal way to begin.
Kickoff is just five minutes away, so let's waste no time in having a look at the team news, including a debut for the world's most expensive defender...
MAN UTD STARTING XI:
De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Lindelof, Shaw; Pereira, McTominay, Pogba; Lingard; Martial, Rashford
SUBS: James, Greenwood, Romero, Matic, Tuanzebe, Young, Mata
CHELSEA STARTING XI:
Kepa; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Christensen, Emerson; Jorginho, Kovacic; Pedro, Mount, Barkley; Abraham
SUBS: Giroud, Kenedy, Kante, Alonso, Pulisic, Tomori, Caballero
KICKOFF: Here we go then! The final match of the opening weekend is underway as Manchester United kick us off!
A big reception for Wan-Bissaka as he has his first one-on-one and comes out on top. That will help to settle his nerves on his debut.
OFF THE POST! Almost a perfect start for Chelsea as they come within inches of breaking the deadlock! It would have been a dream start for Abraham too as he gets the better of Rashford on the edge of the box and then unleashes a sweetly-struck effort which crashes against the woodwork. De Gea was beaten!
Chelsea have settled the quicker in these opening exchanges, seeing more of the ball and territory as well as that Abraham effort which came so close to breaking the deadlock. A confident start to life under Lampard!
SAVE! After such a bright start, the last thing Chelsea will want to do is gift them a goal. United press the Blues high up the pitch and Zouma gifts the ball straight to Martial on the edge of his own box, but he doesn't really catch his effort and Kepa gets down to make the save.
Lampard will be really happy with the opening 10 minutes or so here, aside from that Zouma error. Chelsea are looking very slick and confident.
CHANCE! Chelsea get forward down the right as Azpilicueta keeps the ball in on the byline and plays a very dangerous low pass into the box. Barkley can't reach it but it is of interest to Abraham, who is just a yard short of having a tap-in.
SAVE! Sharp from Chelsea again as they nick possession and immediately get it forward to Mount, whose strike from just outside the area is right down the throat of De Gea.
Most of Chelsea's dangerous attacks have come down the right flank so far, largely because Rashford is not tracking Azpilicueta enough, leaving Shaw isolated at times.
United have the chance to break forward and Martial tries to link up with Rashford on the edge of the box, although the attempted flick back is cut out by a defender.
PENALTY! PENALTY TO MANCHESTER UNITED!
PENALTY! Poor from Zouma, whose challenge inside the box was really clumsy! VAR will check it, but this one will not be overturned. A great chance for United to take the lead...
GOAL! MAN UTD 1-0 CHELSEA (MARCUS RASHFORD, PENALTY)
Lift off for Manchester United!
It has come against the run of play and is harsh on Chelsea, but United have the lead courtesy of a brilliant penalty from Rashford, who put it right in the top corner. He needed to as well, with Kepa guessing the right way, but the keeper could not keep it out.
Zouma has been handed a lifeline at Chelsea by Lampard, particularly after David Luiz's departure, but he has made a poor start to this match. Even before giving away the penalty he had gifted United another chance with a poor pass.
That goal has really changed the game here, with United suddenly on the front foot and smelling blood. That is exactly what they needed.
The referee pulls play back with United in a good position due to a head injury for Christensen, and VAR just has a check regarding an arm from Pogba which caught him in the face. There was contact, but it wasn't deliberate so no punishment for the midfielder.
United have now had 61% possession in the last 10 minutes, which is more or less a role reversal of the opening 10 minutes or so. Much better from the hosts now.
Chelsea have just lost their way a bit since falling behind, although they are still very much in this game. The major concern for the visitors will be Zouma, who continues to look shaky.
Every touch from Maguire is being cheered to the rafters by the home fans, and there have been a couple of extra big ones for a pair of important interceptions in quick succession...
SHOT! Chelsea give the ball away in a dangerous position again and United work it across to Martial, who lines up a shot but then curls it well over the bar.
Another promising break from United as Martial works hard down the left before putting a cross into the box which Pogba can only nod into the six-yard box, where Kepa can claim.
DISALLOWED GOAL! Manchester United have the ball in the back of the net again, but Rashford's finish is quickly - and correctly - ruled out for offside. Pogba wants a free kick for a challenge on him as he passed the ball, but he won't get it.
SHOT! Chelsea quickly get up the other end and it opens up for Barkley to have a go from range, flashing his low drive a couple of yards past the post.
SAVE! Routine save for De Gea as he collects Pedro's long-range strike.
YELLOW CARD! Zouma is the first name in the book today as he goes into a rash challenge on Pereira.
CHANCE! Good play from Chelsea as Jorginho and Pedro combine to find Barkley, who stands up his marker before creating space to get a shot away on his left foot. His low drive is straight at De Gea, but arrives at a pace which makes it difficult for the Spaniard, who pulls off a smart save with his feet.
OFF THE POST! Chelsea are denied by the post again! Wan-Bissaka only clears a cross as far as Emerson inside the area and the full-back hammers a shot towards the near post, which beats De Gea purely through the power. However, it crashes against the inside of the post and bounces to safety, much to the relief of De Gea.
It looks like Solskjaer has just tweaked his system a bit with Chelsea beginning to gain the upper hand again. The hosts are closer to a 4-4-2 now, with Lingard central.
This has been a good, open and free-flowing first half. Both sides are keen to attack whenever possible, although they have also given the ball away too cheaply on more than one occasion.
There will be two minutes of added time at the end of this first half.
HALF TIME: MAN UTD 1-0 CHELSEA
The first half comes to an end at Old Trafford, and it is Manchester United who have the lead at the interval, although they have by no means had things all their own way.
Chelsea will feel hard done by to be behind at the break having hit the woodwork twice, but it is a mistake from Zouma which has cost them so far. Still all to play for!
The only goal of the game so far came from the spot as Rashford won and converted a penalty, putting his effort right into the top corner beyond Kepa's reach.
It was poor play from Zouma to concede the penalty as he tried to nick the ball off Rashford inside the area, only to bring the United man down. Simply staying on his feet and marshalling Rashford would have quelled the danger, but it was rash for the former Everton loanee.
Chelsea could have broken the deadlock as early as the fourth minute when Abraham came within inches of giving both himself and his team a dream start to the new season, crashing an effort against the woodwork.
The striker got the better of Rashford on the edge of the box and unleashed a powerful strike towards goal which beat De Gea, but found the upright.
Emerson then rattled the same upright towards the end of the first half with De Gea again helpless - and seemingly surprised that it had come so close.
It was a mistake from Wan-Bissaka which created the chance as the debutant could only clear the ball as far as Emerson inside the area, and his powerful strike smashed against the angle of post and crossbar.
KICKOFF: Chelsea get us back underway for the start of the second half!
YELLOW CARD! Lingard picks up an early second-half booking for a mistimed challenge on Kovacic.
United have an incredible record when leading at half time at Old Trafford in the Premier League, but Chelsea showed enough signs in that first half that they can trouble that record.
SHOT! Pedro picks up the ball around 25 yards from goal and shifts it onto his left foot before curling an effort goalwards, but it flies over the crossbar.
YELLOW CARD! Jorginho joins Zouma in the book for Chelsea with a cynical foul on Lingard to halt his run forward.
A sustained period of pressure from United as they probe for a way through, but Chelsea hold firm at the back this time. Kepa hasn't actually had that much to do today aside from picking the ball out of his own net.
SAVE! Now it's Chelsea turn to put the pressure on and Emerson once again powers a shot goalwards, but De Gea is there to parry it away before Rashford completes the clearance.
YELLOW CARD! Tammy Abraham joins the growing contingent of booked players for a late tackle on McTominay.
CHELSEA SUB: It's debut time for Christian Pulisic as he replaces Barkley for the final half-hour or so.
I mentioned United's record when leading at home at half time was impressive - here is just how impressive. A remarkable statistic...
Maguire has his first chance to get his head to a ball inside the Chelsea area from a United corner, but can only try to nod it into a more dangerous area rather than going for goal himself this time.
United just seem to be dropping a little deeper now, plugging the gaps which Chelsea were exploiting going forward in the first half. The hosts may be happy to hit Chelsea on the counter-attack now.
GOAL! MAN UTD 2-0 CHELSEA (ANTHONY MARTIAL)
And that is exactly what they do! Maguire wins the ball back on the edge of the United area and they immediately spring into action on the counter.
Rashford leads the charge before putting too much on his pass out wide for Lingard. Lingard keeps it alive and gives it back to Pereira, whose cross into the box is perfect. Martial gets in front of his marker and bundles it home from close range!
GOAL! MAN UTD 3-0 CHELSEA (MARCUS RASHFORD)
Surely it is well and truly game over now! United put the match to bed with two goals in less than two minutes, with Rashford doubling his personal tally here.
Pogba clips a brilliant pass over the top for Rashford to run on to, and the striker takes his time before tucking his finish into the bottom corner with only the keeper to beat!
YELLOW CARD! Lindelof picks up a cheap yellow card for kicking the ball away.
Half a chance from the resulting free kick as Zouma climbs highest inside the area but can't find the target with his header.
SAVE! It is the left-back Emerson who has looked most like scoring for Chelsea today, and he has another effort here which is easy for De Gea to gather.
CHELSEA SUB: In the midst of all that action, Chelsea made a change after the second goal with Olivier Giroud replacing Abraham.
CHELSEA SUB: Lampard makes another change here as N'Golo Kante replaces Jorginho.
MAN UTD SUB:
United also make a change as Pereira is replaced by debutant Daniel James
There were 17 seconds between the restart after the second goal and Rashford scoring the third there. A blistering double which has taken the game away from Chelsea.
This is a chastening defeat for Lampard in his first game as Chelsea boss, but there are positives for him to take even if the scoreline might not suggest it. This was a close game until those two goals.
Chelsea have had more possession, more shots, more shots on target and have made more passes than United today, but the one stat which counts has gone drastically against them. They have been very open on the counter-attack and need to learn from this defensively.
GOAL! MAN UTD 4-0 CHELSEA (DANIEL JAMES)
What a moment for Daniel James on his debut as United again hit Chelsea on the break!
Pogba drives forward, running almost the length of pitch before giving the ball to James. At first it looks as though the chance might have gone, but he then gets a shot away which deflects off Emerson and bounces into the bottom corner.
Well, the main criticism of United in recent years is that they have been too slow and unexciting - that certainly isn't a criticism that can be levelled at them today. They have ripped Chelsea part on the break in the last 30 minutes or so.
SAVE! Mount tries to grab a consolation for Chelsea as he cuts inside onto his right foot before drilling an effort goalwards, but De Gea gets down to make the save.
MAN UTD SUBS: Double change for United, including minutes for Mason Greenwood. He comes on for Rashford, while Mata replaces Lingard.
It's all about that clean sheet for United now - they kept just two here all last season, so one on day one would be a big achievement.
Pedro darts across the front post to get to a cross, but he cannot flick his effort on target.
Pedro darts across the front post to get to a cross, but he cannot flick his effort on target.
YELLOW CARD! Kante picks up a late yellow for a trip on James.
There will be four minutes of added time at the end of this match.
SAVE! Another shot for Emerson, but again it is straight at De Gea, who punches it away.
FULL TIME: MANCHESTER UNITED 4-0 CHELSEA
Well, what a start for Manchester United to the 2019-20 season!
The Red Devils ripped Chelsea apart during that final 30 minutes with the sort of pace and dynamism which has been sorely lacking from their team in recent years, scoring three times to add to Rashford's opener.
The match was actually in the balance until then, with Chelsea looking capable of getting something out of it, but Frank Lampard will take some harsh lessons from this opening-day rout.
Right, that is all we have time for this afternoon!
Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for today's blockbuster clash, with certainly didn't disappoint - unless you are a Chelsea fan, of course. Manchester United soar straight into second with a 4-0 drubbing of a fellow top-four hopeful, and there will be plenty of excitement amongst their fans after that performance. I will leave you with our match report, and be sure to stick around for reaction too.
From me, though, it is goodbye for now!