How good were Manchester United on the opening weekend? Jose Mourinho’s men ran out clear winners against West Ham United at Old Trafford, scoring four sublime goals in what was a very one-sided contest. If the Red Devils play like that for the most part of the Premier League season, they will be there or thereabouts in the title race come May.
Romelu Lukaku got – one either side of the half-time break. Scoring on your debut is important at any club but, at Manchester United, it is imperative. His movement off the ball for the first goal was direct and destructive and his aerial dominance was clear for all to see for his second.
Should he continue in the same vein, Lukaku could easily score close to 30 goals this season – an impressive return that could win the Golden Boot. Harry Kane, the winner of the Premier League’s coveted award in each of the last two years, failed to get off the mark on opening weekend and Lukaku will be quietly confident of pipping his rival to the accolade.
But individual glory was not the reason why Lukaku chose to join Manchester United. The Belgium striker wants to win trophies and leaving Goodison Park for Old Trafford was the right decision. Mourinho is building a monster at the Theatre of Dreams and United, priced at , have laid down the gauntlet.
Nemanja Matic will be key to United’s title aspirations. The Serbia star moved to United earlier this summer – a transfer that sent shockwaves across England’s top flight. Chelsea, rampant when winning the Premier League crown last season, accepted an offer of around £40 million for Matic but ignored how great the implications would be.
On the opening weekend, Antonio Conte’s side were ill-disciplined and ended up losing 3-2 to Burnley. Matic may not have prevented defeat but the 29-year-old is a natural leader and his presence on the pitch gives reassurance and comfort to those around him. With Matic at United, Chelsea may struggle while the Red Devils – especially Paul Pogba – thrive.
Playing in a more reserved role in midfield, rather than defending and the Frenchman looked to be enjoying his new role against West Ham. The £89 million star struggled at times last season but he will relish playing alongside Matic in the middle of the park.
Mourinho will be keen to sign one or two more players before the transfer window slams shut – United cannot afford to rest on their laurels. But the early signs are promising as the Red Devils look to lift the Premier League crown for the first time since 2013. Mourinho promised to bring the glory days back to Old Trafford and United are well on the way to competing for England’s ultimate prize.