Manchester United stormed to a stunning opening day win as a Bruno-Fernandes inspired Reds side put Marcelo Bielsa’s men ruthlessly to the sword.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are already three points better off after one game than we were in 2020-21, Raphael Varane is officially a Red – at last – and Fernandes has his first treble for United with not a penalty in sight.
Here are three things we picked up on.
Welcome to Manchester United, Raphael Varane
It seemed to take longer than it should have done, with boss Solskjaer even admitting so on Friday when the gaffer said the club were yet to “dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s” in the deal for the Frenchman. Many were wondering why Varane had yet to be unveiled, but it was well worth the wait. The opening day of the season in front of a packed out Old Trafford after 18 months away and one of our biggest rivals in town. The stage was set – perhaps it was always meant to be this way. He was welcomed in style with our new no.19 holding his new shirt aloft in front of a bouncing Stretford End. It would seem harsh to drop Lindelof after an excellent performance here, but you don’t sign a four time Champions League winner and a world champion to sit on the bench. On a day when fans finally returned in their full compliment, Varane’s unveiling played out in full view and didn’t we all love it. This club, man, it sure does know how to tug at the heartstrings. The feels…
Manchester United release the kraken…
When Luke Ayling thumped in an admittedly very good goal shortly after half time to level, it seemed as if Manchester United’s most familiar failing was about to rear its ugly head again. The failure of not “killing teams off” when on top only to then be pegged back from nothing – either through a moment like this one, a slice of (bad) luck or an iffy referee. But not this time. Instead of taming the beast, Leeds had poked it in the eye, re-awakened it and dangled food in front of its face. It was at that moment they knew they messed up. There were no signs of nerves, no sign of panic – it was simply get on the front foot and go again. Manchester United released the kraken and the floodgates opened – the gunman did what the gunman does, Fernandes completed his hat-trick and grabbed the match ball and even Fred got in on the act. 6-2 last season, 5-1 this time – we think its fair to say poor ol’ Marcelo Bielsa is probably sick of the sight of Old Trafford by now. To cap it all, Anthony Martial got a standing ovation and Jadon Sancho came on for his debut.
We’re Man United, we’re top of the league!
Don’t say it, don’t say it, don’t say i… Manchester United have stormed to the Premier League summit, three points clear of our “friends” from across the city with a much healthier goal difference – ladies and gents, we can safely say 21 is coming in 2021-22. OK, we got a BIT carried away there, we know, we’re messing with y’all. But enjoy it, save the screenshot, drink it in, make the most of it. Just in case we don’t see us there again. We’re one game in, there’s still another 37 game weeks, the main protagonists haven’t even played yet and it’s where you are in May that counts. This particular race has a very, very long way to run, and it will be one that will put us through the wringer. We just liked the sound of it so thought we’d remind everyone. Leeds fan can try telling us all this, but I can’t hear them from this high up. Up the tricky, five star, Leeds bashing, Varane unveiling, not a penalty in sight piss boiling Reds!