Chelsea manager Frank Lampard. PHOTO/CFC
They came into the match as the least experienced managers, they came with question marks over their heads but one manager will probably be left with more questions than answers.
Lampard’s initiation into the Premier League was worse than he could ever have imagined, a tonking at the hand of a youthful Man united team.
Chelsea found their grooves quicker of the two teams, with Chelsea showing early promise characterized by quick interchanges and excellent movement off the ball.
It nearly bore fruit early on when Tammy Abraham (picked to lead the line ahead of Giroud) hit De Gea’s right upright with the later well beaten.
As the game proceeded so did Manchester United’s confidence, gaining a foothold as the game proceeded.
When the goal came it was against the run of play and a goal that would be replicated throughout the game, a simple counter attack and a brain fart from a Chelsea defender.
Why Zouma decided to trip Rashford when there was enough cover is something that only he will know, but it was just the beginning of horrific afternoon for the center back: missed tackles, poor positioning, miscommunication were all evident from the center back no wonder a number of Chelsea coaches had sent him out on loan.
CHASING THE GAME
That he was in the team out of necessity rather than ability was obvious for all to see. Rushford duly dispatched the resulting spot kick with the calmness of an experienced penalty taker.
From then Chelsea were chasing the game and Manchester easily kept them at arm’s length. Emerson shaved the woodwork as Chelsea tried to regain a foothold in the game. But Manchester remained dangerous on the break utilizing the pace of Lingard, Rashford and Martial.
Chelsea went into the break a goal down but not out of the game, but the defense conspired to have a bad day. Chelsea attempt at a comeback were undone by another defensive gift when Pereira was allowed to ghost behind Chelsea’s left back and put in a telling ball bundled in by Martial.
The second blow was a telling one but not fatal at all and it all turned 17 seconds after the restart when a simple ball over the top caught Azpilcueta napping leaving Rashford with a one on one.
Manchester had time for an icing on the cake with new boy Dan James opening his account at the Stratford end barely 7 minutes into his Premier league debut.
Manchester had even time to introduce another youngster into the fray four goals up.
Lampards decision not to start Pulisic will come under sharp scrutiny as the team he laid did not have enough pace to get behind the Manchester backline, same to start not starting Kante the one player able to stop the quick counters.
Wan Bissaka was guilty of being caught out more than once while Lindelof and Maguire did not have a very stellar first outing and would have been punished by less generous team selections.
For Chelsea and Lampard they lick their wounds and go back to the drawing board. The defensive lapses will not go down well at Stamford Bridge after Chelsea senior center backs were let to leave.
Lack of firepower upfront will also give Lampard nightmares as Tammy completely failed in his audition and the alternatives have not covered themselves in glory in the past.
The biggest question is where the goals will come from after Hazards departure.
At old Trafford before the popping of the champagne Solskjear will be quick to point to his team the generosity of their opponents and noting few teams will have the shamble of a defense Chelsea had. It is a positive start for the Norwegian who came under a lot of pressure at the tail end of last season.
In his possession is a group of talented young players who with the right coaching could be the mainstay of Manchester United for years to come. The team still looks short of quality particularly when compared to the top two, but they can dream.
A dream that has previously been only a nightmare after the failures of last season, maybe you can win something with kids after all.