Few footballing unions are as long and happy as Frank Lampards association with Chelsea, with whom he renewed his vows when he returned to the club as manager last month. Not many honeymoons have been so short, either.
On his first Premier League match in charge of the team he played for with such distinction for 13 years, the former England midfielder suffered a chastening 4-0 defeat at Manchester United today that posed some fundamental questions.
His readiness to use Chelseas abundant young talent was one of the reasons for his fast-tracking into the role so early in his coaching career and he stayed true to that at Old Trafford, picking Mason Mount, 20, and Tammy Abraham, 21, over older heads.
But despite a bright opening spell the experiment went emphatically awry and, while no definitive conclusions should be drawn this soon, Lampard has immediately found himself under pressure to justify his high-risk approach.
Solskjaers second bounce
If this was a nightmare start for Lampard, however, it was the stuff of dreams for Ole Gunnar Solksjaer, whose own short tenure at United appeared to be in terminal decline as their season limped to a pitiful conclusion in May.
Away from the clubs largely shambolic transfer window, the Norwegian has quietly had an encouraging pre-season, winning five of six fixtures, and his side built on that momentum against Chelsea, growing in confidence with each goal.
This almost felt like Solskjaers second new-manager bounce. United looked loose and liberated and, by the closing stages, played with an attacking spontaneity not seen since the first few games after his arrival last December.
Rashford and Pogba show
Marcus Rashford led the scoring with two goals, the first a penalty after he had been fouled by Kurt Zouma and the second – Uniteds third – a classy finish slotted past Kepa Arrizabalaga after darting onto Paul Pogbas raking pass over the top.
As in Uniteds post-Mourinho purple patch last season, Rashford and Pogba were at the heart of most of Uniteds best play and they were never more dangerous than when linking up with each other.
It was Pogbas swashbuckling run that also led to the fourth goal for substitute Daniel James on his debut.
After a summer of uncertainty about the Frenchmans appetite for life at the club, here was some welcome hope that he can drive United on to better things this year.
Martial steps up
United were far from flawless and could easily have been behind before the 17th-minute penalty, but positive signs abounded as the afternoon unfolded, not least among the new faces.
Harry Maguire brought authRead More – Source